After UFC president Dana White announced he had purchased yet another rival, this time perhaps his biggest threat to date, many wondered if Fedor Emelianenko’s Octagon debut was just around the overdue corner. Nyet, says M-1 Global director of operations Evgeni Kogan.
“Fedor’s contract is with Showtime Networks Inc. and we’re excited to be working with such a premium North American outlet,” Kogan told MMAWeekly.
White was adamant when telling MMAFighting the UFC and Strikeforce will continue to operate as two separate entities. He also added the San Jose, California based promotion’s contract with Showtime should expire in about two years.
Until that deal is up, White has to remain relatively hands-off and allow everything to stay “business as usual.” That’s why M-1 Global and their client claim to care less about the UFC’s acquisition.
Considering Emelianenko practically announced his retirement following his second consecutive defeat last month, it’s highly likely the 34-year-old will be long gone by the time the UFC swallows up Strikeforce, as most anticipate happening once Showtime is out of the picture.
“The purchase of Strikeforce doesn’t affect M-1 at all,” Kogan stated. “Our TV deal is with Showtime and we’re happy. It’s business as usual for M-1 Global, as we close into our March 25th event.”
As part of their new Emelianenko-powered agreement with Showtime, the premium cable network will air several M-1 Global events. The Russians make their debut later his month.
Strikeforce and Showtime execs have remained mum since White flipped the MMA world upside-down early Saturday morning.