Those lab geeks better check their stats on this global warming thing, because hell has apparently frozen over. After several months of intense negotiations, Fedor Emelianenko has finally come to terms on a multi-fight contract extension with Strikeforce.
“We are thrilled to have come to a long-term agreement with Fedor and M-1 Global,” Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker stated. “To have the greatest MMA fighter of all-time put his legacy on the line in a single-elimination tournament will truly captivate MMA fans worldwide.
“Strikeforce is home to the best heavyweight division in the world; the athlete who runs the gauntlet in a tournament such as this would have to be considered the best heavyweight fighter in the world.”
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The former PrideFC champion will make his long awaited return against Antonio Silva on February 12th. The heavyweights will square off in the opening round of Strikeforce’s eight-man Grand Prix.
“I have been training very hard since my last fight and can’t wait to get back in the cage,” said Emelianenko. “Strikeforce has assembled a roster filled with the best heavyweights in the world and, together with M-1 Global, we have the opportunity to fight the best in a great tournament format.”
After losing his first contest in nearly a decade this past June, Fedor’s longtime management team, refused to enter the cage with only one bout remaining on their original three-bout agreement. An extension needed to be in place, which promptly ignited the never-ending negotiations.
“I am very pleased to collaborate with Showtime and Strikeforce … Together we can create a tournament that should go down in history as the greatest MMA tournament in the heavyweight division,” M-1 Global head honcho Vadim Finkelchtein stated.
“The purpose of the co-operation between the M-1, Strikeforce and Showtime is the development and growth in popularity of MMA across the world. This sport is beyond the scope of individual organizations. Our partnership enables us to arrange fights the best fighters in the world with each other.
“From this agreement will benefit everyone – especially the fans, who want to see Fedor in as often as possible.”
The February 12th extravaganza takes place inside the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.