In the wake of yesterday’s abrupt cancellation of “Affliction: Trilogy,” M-1 Global, co-promoter of the August 1st card, has issued a statement regarding their disappointment in Affliction’s decision to close-up shop, as well as the fact that they were the last to know about the cancellation.
M-1 states their WAMMA heavyweight champ Fedor Emelianenko, “was ready, willing, and able to compete against whomever Affliction determined was the most qualified candidate amongst an extensive list of potential replacements,” however Affliction was unable to find a suitable substitute on just 10 days notice after Josh Barnett tested positive for steroids, again.
Interestingly, the statement also mentioned that it wasn’t until Fedor and his Russian entourage of 35 touched down at LAX in California that they were finally notified of Affliction’s decision to pull the plug on “Trilogy.”
“Additionally, Fedor did not learn of the cancellation until arriving at the airport and informed directly by M-1 legal counsel,” the release stated.
Finally, M-1 took the opportunity to promote their upcoming “M-1: Breakthrough” event inside the Los Angeles Convention Center on August 28th. They claim the show will “help fill the void created by [Affliction’s] departure.”
Here is M-1 Global’s complete press release:
M-1 Global would like to sincerely apologize to fight fans who had made plans to either attend next Saturday’s Affliction and M-1 “Trilogy” event at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. or watch the event at home on pay-per-view.
Early Friday afternoon, M-1 Global learned without warning or prior notice that Affliction had decided to cancel “Trilogy.”
As a partner of Affliction, M-1 Global was saddened to learn of these developments. The cancellation took our company completely by surprise, as Fedor Emelianenko, M-1 Challenge fighter Mikahil Zayats, and a traveling party of 35 people from Russia consisting of Fedor’s trainers, friends, family, as well as M-1 support personnel were all on a plane en route to Anaheim.
Additionally, Fedor did not learn of the cancellation until arriving at the airport and informed directly by M-1 legal counsel.
Following the California State Athletic Commission’s decision not to license Josh Barnett earlier in the week, M-1 Global was confident that a suitable replacement would be found. Fedor was ready, willing, and able to compete against whomever Affliction determined was the most qualified candidate amongst an extensive list of potential replacements.
M-1 Global understands and shares the disappointment being expressed by many fans that Fedor will not be able to compete on Aug. 1 as scheduled. However, we will work to ensure that Fedor returns to active competition as soon as possible.
With Affliction’s announcement that it will cease to promote MMA events, M-1 Global will look to help fill the void created by its departure with the launch of its new “Breakthrough” fight series. The first event is scheduled for Aug. 28 in Los Angeles and will feature “King” Mo Lawal and Don “The Predator” Frye in the main event and Karl Amoussou taking on Nick Thompson in the co-main event. It is our sincerest hope that all planning to attend “Trilogy” at the Honda Center will decide to help support M-1 Global on Aug. 28.
M-1 Global will also now focus its attention on the upcoming seventh edition of the M-1 Challenge, which is scheduled to be a “weekend offighting” from Aug. 15-16 in Hilversum, Holland and will feature a total of 30 fights over a two-day period.
M-1 Global has also been inundated with media requests to speak with Fedor and M-1 Global Owner and President Vadim Finkelchtein. We will be releasing statements from both Fedor and Vadim via www.M-1Global.com as soon as possible.