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UFC Still Trying To Sign Fedor Emelianenko? (Update III: M-1 Denies)

So how crazy would it be if the UFC managed to sign Fedor Emelianenko, like relatively soon? Yeah, he’s currently under some form of contract with Strikeforce and it probably won’t happen, but in this interview with Sherdog, Dana White hints that it’s still a possibility. Via BE:

Sherdog: You mentioned talking to M-1 recently, more recent than anyone thought. What’s going on there? I mean he’s got a three fight contract…

Dana White – “Listen, I think there’s a million different ways to cut deals. Believe me, I want Fedor more than the people that are yapping that they want him in the UFC. And I like Mousasi too. So I would love to have them both in the UFC. And there’s a lot of different ways to cut a deal”.

… “There’s only one way to find out how Fedor would do in the UFC. Get his ass over here and let’s get him in there and get him fighting. I could do the same thing with Mousasi. I like Mousasi, I don’t know how he’d do over here. There’s a lot of really good guys here. It’s not like fighting in other promotions. They are not deep enough. There are not enough good fighters over there for them to challenge. There is here, that’s what makes it fun and interesting”.

Interesting, though I wouldn’t get your hopes up. No one really knows what kind of deal exists between Fedor, M-1 and Strikeforce. There could be a “Fedor can get out of this contract to sign with the UFC” clause for all we know, but it still seems extremely far-fetched.

Update: Assuming this isn’t a fake Twitter account, M-1’s Vadim Finkelchtein confirms they’re once again negotiating with the UFC.

Negotiations with UFC going on again. I hope you fans will be happy this time:))

Of course, just because they’re talking again doesn’t mean they’ll actually strike a deal as we’ve already learned twice now. I mean how will they when negotiations go something like this…very NSFW.


Update 2: M-1’s Jerry Millen is denying negotiations are taking place and says Vadim’s Twitter account is fake. Via Josh Gross:

Re: this M-1/UFC rumor, Jerry Millen from M-1 denied any new talks. W/Fedor and Mousasi under contract to Strikeforce, doesn’t seem likely.

I asked Millen if Vadim was on Twitter. His response over text: “Lol that’s funny!”

Jerry Millen just called and said @vfinkelstein is a fake twitter account. He vehemently denied any new talks between M-1 and UFC.

Not sure what to think of this yet. Millen may very well be out of the loop on this one or perhaps he’ right and there’s no truth to it at all. Regarding the Twitter account, I was definitely suspicious of it’s validity when I first saw it this morning, however when MMA Junkie ran with it, I figured they had verified it was him. They’re usually good about that kind of thing. As it stands now, I’m not sure who or what we should believe.

Update 3: Okay, Vadim Finkelchtein has issued a statement via not only denying any ongoing negotiations with the UFC, but also confirming the Twitter account is fake.

“Today I heard the rumors of me allegedly stating on my twitter account that we are negotiating with the UFC. I want to state that there are no talks with the UFC whatsoever. Our partner in the USA is STRIKEFORCE, we are happy to cooperate with STRIKEFORCE. Fedor (Emelianenko) and Gegard (Mousasi) fight there and they are quite happy with the conditions and how they are treated with respect there. Finally, I don’t have any account on Twitter. The account that ignited the rumors is false. Our attorneys are already aware of the situation and shortly this fake account will be deleted.”

As for Dana White’s comments that started this whole thing, I’m still not sure what to think. If something was going on behind the scenes I would expect M-1 to deny it considering their relationship with Strikeforce among other reasons. Of course, there might be nothing to it and Dana was just trying to stir the pot, possibly create a rift between Strikeforce and M-1. Or maybe some of us are just reading too much into it. I don’t know, but it’s weird how this just popped up out of nowhere.

For what it’s worth, here’s Jerry Millen’s comments on the situation and what he thinks Dana is doing. Keep in mind Millen isn’t the most objective source, especially when it comes to Dana.

“I think Dana, in a fantasy dream he had, he signed Fedor. That’s probably the ‘more recent than you think.’ He’s dreaming. He wants Fedor. His heavyweight division is a mess.”The (UFC) pay-per-views aren’t doing well…I don’t care what anybody says, the numbers that people are reporting the pay-per-views are doing, they’re not doing…Their pay-per-views are hurting, and for the next couple of pay-per-views, look at the main events. I love the fighters that are fighting, but they’re not going to sell a lot of pay-per-views. So Dana has got to stir up controversy or talk it up any way he can…When I saw this coming down, I was like, ‘OK, what’s going on here? Is this Dana trying to affect our relationship with CBS and Showtime and Strikeforce?’. We have a great relationship. We’re very happy with our partners, and we see a great future with them. But this is a way to undermine somebody. If you think somebody isn’t fully committed, would you be fully committed? What you do is create doubt, and that’s what they’re trying to do – create doubt that M-1 is not fully committed. But we are fully committed to Showtime and Strikeforce. It’s a great partnership. Money can buy you just about everything but Fedor. That’s what Dana is running into. … Dana White has no clue about the people he’s dealing with in M-1. He doesn’t know anything about the people in M-1. He doesn’t know how to treat them. He doesn’t know their background. He doesn’t know who they are as people. That’s his biggest problem…Dana is grabbing at straws. He wants Fedor so bad he can taste it. … But as long as M-1 is involved, I’m sure it’s always going to be co-promotion. Fedor has been a part of the family. You don’t just give your family away. Gegard is an M-1 fighter, as well, and he’s right there with Fedor.”

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Fight Cards

Bellator 163: McGeary vs. Davis

Event Date: November 4, 2016
Broadcast: Spike

UFC Fight Night 98: Dos Anjos vs. Ferguson

Event Date: November 5, 2016
Broadcast: TBD

Bellator 164: Koreshkov vs. Lima

Event Date: November 11, 2016
Broadcast: Spike Sports

UFC 205: Alvarez vs. McGregor

Event Date: November 12, 2016
Broadcast: Pay-per-view, Fox Sports 1, UFC Fight Pass

Bellator 165: Chandler Vs. Henderson

Event Date: November 19, 2016
Broadcast: Spike TV

UFC Fight Night 99: Mousasi vs. Hall 2

Event Date: November 19, 2016
Broadcast: TBD