Russian heavyweight star Fedor Emelianenko is not getting any younger. At the age of 34 it could well be that the next contract he signs will be his last.
With just one fight left on his current deal with Strikeforce his management M-1 Global are currently in the process of negotiating the ins and outs of such a deal and establishing just where ‘The Last Emperor’s’ remaining fights in the sport will be fought.
Of course as usual M-1 Global seem determined to put their own interests ahead of one of the best fighter’s the sport has seen. The latest word is that they are negotiating to extend their contract with Strikeforce / Showtime with M-1’s own ‘M-1 Challenge’ show being aired on Showtime being one of the terms of the deal along with their usual ‘co-promotion’ of Fedor’s event’s in Strikeforce.
Despite apparently being in the advanced stages of these talks rumors persist that Fedor could still somehow make his way to the UFC after his current contract ends. According to M-1’s Vadim Finkelstein that is simply not the case.
“It’s stupidity. We are not conducting such negotiations. Right now we are in active negotiations with Showtime on a contract extension, and perhaps we will renew it. But the UFC does not offer such opportunities and imposes its monopoly conditions. They believe that everyone should be in the UFC,” Finkelstein told Russian website AllBoxing.ru.
“We would love to fight with Lesnar, and Velasquez and all but why should we give up all these undertakings, all the years spent on Fedor’s development will go to them? Fedor did not grow in the UFC, right? So why should he go to the UFC?
“Fedor is now ready to fight. He is 34, he feels fine and is ready to work. He is ready to sign a contract for five or six fights, and do the job very well. He always says he’s ready to act. We need to protect our interests.“
So there you have it, M-1 Global will continue to avoid making a deal to put one of the world’s greatest ever fighters in the world’s leading MMA promotion not because it’s not the best option for Fedor, but rather because it doesn’t suit M-1 Global’s interests.
This outfit’s dodgy dealing’s have always irked me, but I at least take some consolation from the fact that since the last time they snubbed the UFC the Strikeforce’s heavyweight division has been strengthened. Fights with Alistair Overeem, Josh Barnett and a rematch with Fabricio Werdum are all fight’s that I would be interested in seeing.
The reality however is that he belongs on the sports biggest stage and sadly the signs are that in a career that spans over a decade this will never have been the case.