While the majority of the MMA-loving world were glued to their TV sets this past weekend to witness the miracle that went down at UFC 117, Fedor Emelianenko hosted a brief Q&A during the semi-finals of the “M-1 Selection: Americas Tournament” in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
I’ll give you a dollar if you can guess the first question he was asked …
“For now, (we) M-1Global works with Strikeforce and we are concentrating on that. The contract is not over yet. So for now, we don’t have any interest in the UFC,” Emelianenko matter-of-factly stated.
The world’s former/current top heavyweight has one final bout remaining on his current Strikeforce deal, after which it’s expected he’ll ignite the biggest free agent frenzy since LeBron James opted to take his talents to South Beach. However, it appears both sides are working on an extension despite reports that M-1 and the San Jose, California based promotion haven’t been on the best of terms since Fedor’s abrupt exit from the land of The Unbeatables.
“The relationship between ourselves, Strikeforce, and Showtime is a good one. We had a great event in June in San Jose and we look forward to more good events with our partners,” added M-1 Global director of operations Evgeni Kogan.
“The issues … were ironed out and we all took a lot of positives from San Jose. Now we are in talks to extend the contract for Fedor, and at the same time, to settle on who, when and where he is fighting next. These talks are going smoothly and we are hopeful of a full resolution very shortly.”
“Smoothly” and “shortly?” I can’t think of many that have sat opposite the Russians at the negotiating table and would use those words to describe the arduous process of trying to ink the world’s most elusive heavyweight.
While he’s notorious for his unprecedented levels of aloofness, the 33-year-old was quite specific when addressing how much longer he intends to compete in the violent world of mixed martial arts.
“So far, I feel very comfortable fighting. Very good with my fighting and I’m planning of fighting as long as I can physically,” Emelianenko said. “As far as I’m concerned, we should discuss the possibility of signing another contract for 4-6 fights.”
Although the Team Fedor is claiming they aren’t interested in entering the Octagon, their tune might change if an extension isn’t reached by the time Fedor takes the cage again – which has been rumored for sometime this winter.