Fedor Emelianenko Faces the Firing Squad

Written by Tom Ngo
August 6th, 2009

WAMMA heavyweight champ Fedor Emelianenko addressed the MMA world today for the first time since signing his groundbreaking, yet controversial, contract with Strikeforce this past Monday. Why did the Russian shun the UFC in favor of a smaller organization … again?

“From my view point, the UFC does not have the proper attitude towards fighters,” Emelianenko said on today’s Strikeforce/M-1 Global conference call. “They do not consider fighters to be normal people, human beings. I think the UFC’s attitude towards their fighters is not the correct one.”

Certainly not the first time that we have heard a fighter dog the UFC for their treatment of their employees. However, their ability to please the people they cut checks for was not the primary reason that Fedor gave the world’s largest MMA organization the Heisman (That would be a stiff-arm, for those that don’t follow college football).

For the second time!

“If a smaller organization offers much better conditions than the bigger organization,  we will work with the smaller organization,” Emelianenko matter-of-factly stated.

“There are a lot of people that take the side of the UFC and there are a lot of people that take the side of M-1 [in regards to my signing with Strikeforce]. I think that if the numbers published on the Internet were real numbers, we would have signed the contract with the UFC. But in fact, the numbers indicated on the Internet was simply rumors.”

It was being reported that the UFC threw everything at Fedor & Co., except the right to co-promote. Word was they threw him a six-fight/$30Mill deal, an immediate title shot against Brock Lesnar at UFC 103, a cut of those massive pay-per-view buys and the right to plaster himself in as many M-1 logos as possible.

Neither Fedor nor his manager, Vadim Finkelchtein, would specify exactly what was offered to them, however they wanted to reiterate that it was nothing close to what is being reported on the www.

“The offer that we got was of one kind and what was being reported on the Internet were completely different numbers,” Finkelchtein said. “So the offer that we got from them was really minimal. If the numbers that were being reported on the Internet were true, we would have signed with the UFC.”

After his Strikeforce signing, many started to wonder if M-1 was providing their top client with all of the information necessary to make the decision that was best for him and his legacy.

MMA’s Terminator quickly dispelled that talk.

“I have full control of all the contracts, and my career as well,” Emelianenko stated. “I constantly get financial reports and all contracts and important issues are being discussed with me. I have complete control of everything that is going on.”

Hopefully you do, Fedor. Because we’ve been down this road before and we all know how BodogFight and Affliction Entertainment turned out.

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