It appears the never-ending contract negotiations between M-1 Global and Strikeforce – or more importunately, Showtime – could finally come to a head as early as today.
According to Fedor Emelianenko’s longtime manager, Vadim Finkelchtein, Monday could determine whether an extension can be reached or the world’s former/current top heavyweight will ignite another free agency frenzy when he completes his final commitment to Strikeforce.
“There’s a reasonable period of time when the fight has to happen, and pretty soon now we’ll know whether or not it will be a fight under the existing contract or a new contract,” Finkelchtein told MMAJunkie.com this morning. “I think fans just want to see Fedor fight and don’t necessarily care who the opponent is.
“I know that Fedor doesn’t care either.”
Emelianenko has one bout remaining on his current Strikeforce contract. M-1 has been trying to iron out a new deal for the last several months to no avail. Although it was assumed they were primarily speaking with Strikeforce, it appears Showtime has served as the Russian’s direct target.
While they may not care who their meal ticket returns to the cage against, they are insisting an extension include a new co-promotional agreement that would bring M-1 shows to the premium-cable channel. According the the report, an expanded partnership has been a major sticking point.
“I’m confident that everything will be OK to the point that Fedor’s satisfied,” Finkelchtein professed. “We’re slowly making progress. We have an agreement in place and that agreement has one more fight on it.
“If we have to operate under that agreement, that’s perfectly fine. But if we have the opportunity to make the relationship more long term, then certainly we’re open to that as well. So we feel fine about that in terms of Fedor’s career because we know at some point very soon, he’s going to have a fight.”
All sides appeared adamant that an extension be in place before “The Last Emperor” returned to action. However, multiple rumored bouts were delayed due to extended lulls at the negotiating table. Thankfully/hopefully, D-Day has finally arrived and Fedor can get back to doing what he does best … fighting.
Tick, tick. The day’s already halfway through…