With a press release sent out earlier today, Strikeforce has announced the signing of WAMMA heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko. After last week’s failed attempt to sign with the UFC, Fedor and his team turned to Strikeforce and struck a deal that will allow the Russian to compete with Strikeforce as well as allow M-1 Global to be a co-promoter.
The UFC gave into almost all of Fedor’s demands except for the most important once, co-promoting with M-1 Global. In the proposed deal, the UFC would’ve allowed Fedor to compete in Sambo events, get an immediate title shot against Brock Lesnar at UFC 103, get a share of Pay-Per-View buys on top of a reported 6-fight $30 million contract as well as have M-1 Global on his shorts.
Fedor himself admitted that had that offer been given to him a few years back after Pride was purchased by Zuffa, LLC., he probably would’ve signed but with today’s MMA landscape, the offer just wasn’t enticing enough.
“STRIKEFORCE is a top fight promotion that houses some of the greatest fighters in the world,” Emelianenko stated. “I am prepared to fight any of them.”
With a far more shallow heavyweight division than the UFC’s, Strikeforce has bolstered its entire roster and put itself into the limelight with the single stroke of Fedor’s pen onto the contract.
Emelianenko is expected to make his Strikeforce debut this fall and will be a co-promotion between M-1 Global and Strikeforce. The event will be aired on Showtime, Fedor’s first fight to not air strictly on Pay-Per-View.