“We’re only going to work under co-promotion conditions,” M-1 CEO and Fedor Emelianenko’s manager Vadim Finkelstein said at today’s press conference in Anaheim, California. The message is clear and it’s the same one as before, unless the UFC wants to play nice, Fedor will play elsewhere.
With the earlier announcement that Fedor will be featured in EA Sports’ MMA video game, it appears that M-1 and Fedor are working under the assumption that either the UFC will sign him or they won’t. If they won’t, Fedor has options according to Finkelstein.
“We have to move forward. It might be that very soon we will be able to announce a deal with another promotion,” Finkelstein continued.
That other promotion is rumored to be Strikeforce, who has a heavyweight that Fedor is very interested in fighting against in Brett Rogers.
Usually, it’s UFC president Dana White who is strong-arming his potential clients, but now it’s Fedor and his management team who are negotiating the terms.
It’s clear that the Fedor camp feels the UFC needs them far more then they need the UFC, and they might be right.
What’s Fedor himself have to say about all of this?
“I have 100 percent faith in Vadim and M-1 Global,” the WAMMA heavyweight champion told the media.
The UFC still has some work to do if they want to sign the biggest fighter in the history of MMA.