On Thursday’s edition of ESPN’s MMA Live show Strikeforce CEO Scott Cocker discussed the situation with their flagship star Fedor Emelianenko after rumors that a contract dispute between Strikeforce and M-1 Global had kept him off their forthcoming April event on CBS.
With regards to why Fedor was absent from the event and when he would fight again, Coker had the following to say.
“It’s something that we’re working on and we just have some items that we need to button up, and we look forward to having Fedor back. I think it’ll happen sometime in late second quarter, and maybe in the summer time. I feel confident that we’ll get through this process and we’ll move on.”
Coker continued to remain vague on the specifics when he was asked by host Jon Anik about the rumor that a contract dispute was the source of the problem.
“Well I can tell you this, we have a valid contract in place. There’s a lot of rumors out there that Strikeforce has breached his contract, and you know there’s just a lot of crazy rumors, but you know all that is not true. It’s just a matter of trying to work out some last minute details, let’s put it that way, and then move on.”
He then went on to suggest that contract disputes like this are not uncommon occurrence behind the scenes.
“This happens in sports all the time and MMA is no different. It’s happened in the past to a lot of different fighters, probably some of it you guys have heard about, some of it you haven’t heard about, and it’s just the nature of sport. We look forward to getting Fedor back in the cage where he belongs, and we just want to move forward.”
So as expected Coker is trying to play down the seriousness of the Fedor situation, but despite that it can’t be ignored that this has been a trying time for the promotion, and that cracks have already began to show in their relationship with M-1 global.
With that being said we can only hope that he is correct in his assessment that it won’t be long before Fedor does make his return to the cage to fight under the Strikeforce banner.
Watch the full interview with Coker on MMA live here