Fedor “The Last Emperor” Emelianenko has found a new home over at Strikeforce as they signed the #1 ranked heavyweight MMA fighter in the world. President of the UFC Dana White “tried everything” they could to convince M-1 Global President and Fedor’s Manager Vadim Finkelstein to sign for the UFC promotion. However, both sides could not come to terms because the UFC was not allowing the single thing Vadim wanted– co-promoting. Dana White stated last Friday that he was willing to pay Fedor well and allow him to participate in Sambo tournaments, but co-promoting the UFC with M-1 Global was just never going to happen.
“We built this business, this entire freaking industry…How are they going to come in and help us co-promote? It’s basically them coming and saying, ‘We’ve got this guy and some people say he might be the best heavyweight in the world. So for that, we want half your business.’ Yeah, OK. That sh-t probably works in Russia. Not here…People from other countries just don’t walk in and jump in business with the Fertitta brothers.”
Immediately after the UFC was unable to negotiate with Fedor’s managers, Strikeforce jumped in to try to sign the Russian Sambo fighter. An agreement was reached between Strikeforce and Vadim Finkelstein this past weekend, which means that M-1 Global is set to co-promote their brand. Vadim was only willing to sign Fedor to an organization that would allow a co-promotion with M-1 Global.
Snip from Vadim Finkelstein:
“Today we’ve got enough energy and finance to be able to develop that sport. That’s why I cannot understand the policy of the UFC. The UFC won’t be able to control the whole world. Let’s work together…I am very happy and excited about the upcoming collaboration with Strikeforce. We are very pleased that we found a reliable partner and I feel that Strikeforce and M-1 can support each other on many things. This will create big opportunities for both parties to test their fighters against worthy opponents.”
Snip from the #1 heavyweight MMA fighter Fedor Emelianenko:
“I am looking forward to going back to work and fighting at the highest level…Strikeforce is a top fight promotion that houses some of the greatest fighters in the world. I am prepared to fight any of them.”
Snip from Strikeforce Founder and CEO Scott Coker:
“We are extremely excited to have the opportunity to work with M-1 Global and Fedor…Fedor has been the reigning king of MMA’s heavyweight division for quite some time now so being able to work with M-1 and Fedor will substantially increase the level of competition amongst the athletes in this weight class.”
Snip from Senior Vice President and General Manager of Showtime Sports Ken Hershman:
“With the addition of Fedor and Strikeforce’s new relationship with M-1 Global, Showtime is now the home of the best pound-for-pound male and female fighters in the world…We are better positioned now than ever before to deliver on our promise to televise the top fighters in mixed martial arts today.”