M-1 Global has lost one of their two most significant fighters. In a report on Sherdog, both Gegard Mousasi and M-1 Global confirmed they have parted ways.
Gegard Mousasi has left his management team with M-1 Global, the fighter told Sherdog.com via e-mail on Friday. M-1 Global also confirmed on Friday that the fighter and organization would no longer be working together.
“After careful consideration, I have decided that it is in my best interest to part ways with M-1 Global,” Mousasi wrote in the e-mail. “During the time I spent under their wing, M-1 Global, as a promoter and management company, allowed me to achieve many great things. I appreciate all they have done for me.”
“The business relationship with M-1 Global is over,” said company representative Apy Echteld. “It was a business decision, but not a personal one and there are no hard feelings.”
No reason was given for the split. At the moment, it won’t have much of an impact from the fans’ perspective as Mousasi continues to fight for Strikeforce, but in the long-term, it’s a major obstacle the UFC won’t have to deal with if and when they make a bid to sign him. Dana White wants him so I’m sure this will bring a big fat smile to his face.
Unfortunately, there wasn’t any indication that Fedor Emelianenko will follow suit. Unlike Mousasi, he has an ownership stake in M-1 Global so the chances of him leaving are probably still pretty slim. Everyone wanting to see Fedor in the UFC can still hold out hope though, right?
Update: MMA Junkie has details on why Mousasi and M-1 split. Apparently, someone in M-1 declined to give Mousasi a similar deal to the one gave Fedor, which would have given him “lifetime security.”
Mousasi’s longtime manager, Apy Echteld, on Friday told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that the decision to leave was made when an M-1 executive elected not to sign a long-term management proposal that would have given the Dutch-Armenian fighter “lifetime security” – a deal similar to one held by Fedor Emelianenko.
Echteld, who spoke via telephone from Amsterdam, declined to name the executive who had rejected the offer. Echteld also said he was the only party holding a management agreement with Mousasi.
“Basically, what M-1 could provide for him was not what Gegard and me had in mind,” Echteld said.
A separate source with knowledge of the situation said Sergei Matvienko – son of the mayor of St. Petersburg, Russia, and a major M-1 backer – may have been the executive who turned away the proposed deal.
Although Echteld praised M-1 Global’s efforts in getting Mousasi exposure stateside, he said the decision to move on was based on a desire to move the fighter’s career to the “next level.”
“It’s not that difficult,” Echteld said. “The input of the marriage was like this: we wanted to make Gegard famous as soon as possible in the U.S. I think the co-branding with Fedor did well.”