M-1’s Vadim Finkelchtein has confirmed there are “contract issues” with Strikeforce in regards to Fedor, however it sounds like everything is going to get worked out. From an interview with MMANews.su translated by TMR from the UG.
Hello, Vadim, could you confirm the rumors that the fight has been postponed because of financial issues and might not take place at all?
VF: Hello, the problem isn’t there. The fight will take place. We’re planning on showing the bout in over 100 countries. For all of that to go smoothly we had to postpone the event. Unfortunately I do not know the date yet. It’s most likely going to be in early May. The bout is also postponed because of some other contract issues. Obviously there are always disagreements and technical questions, but everybody deals with those.
Scott Coker also addressed the Fedor situation on this week’s edition of MMA Live. He spoke in pretty vague terms but was confident they would work through it and move on with Fedor still under the Strikeforce banner.
“I look forward to having Fedor back and I think it’ll happen sometime late second quarter and maybe in the summertime. I feel confident that we’ll get through this process, and move on.”
“This happens in sports all the time and MMA is no different. It’s happened in the past with all different fighters — some of you have heard about and some you haven’t heard about — It’s just the nature of the sport. We look forward to having Fedor back in the cage where he belongs and we just move forward.”
Vadim also made a few interesting remarks about Gegard Mousasi. Mousasi was widely believed to be a M-1 fighter before announcing his departure from the organization last month, yet here’s Vadim Finkelchtein saying they’ve never had a contract with Mousasi.
Gegard Mousasi has recently announced that he has left M-1 Global. Do you still work with him and his manager, Apy Echteld?
VF: Mousasi has never had a contract with M-1. If that was the case, he would not have been able to simply leave the organization. Where did he go? He still has his contracts with Strikeforce and Dream. M-1 was helping him grow. Mousasi has always been friends with us and Fedor and in return we were helping him go forward. His action was a surprise to me. I plan on meeting with him next week and finding out what’s wrong. We used to say that Mousasi is an M-1 fighter, because he was starting in our organization. I’m sure that on our M-1 Challenge and M-1 Selection tournament he will not be the only fighter of that level.
From what I gather, M-1’s Apy Echteld holds a management agreement with Mousasi, but apparently that doesn’t mean he was signed to M-1 like Fedor is. Whatever their arrangement was, and there seems to be a lot of confusion over that, Mousasi definitely isn’t with M-1 now.
Update: The official word from M-1 Global via Fanhouse’s MDS:
1. Fedor isn’t fighting on the April 17 Strikeforce card because he wanted to have more time to prepare following the recovery from his hand injury.
2. Whether Fedor will fight Fabricio Werdum on the May 15 Strikeforce card is currently being worked out.
3. Everything is fine between Fedor, M-1 Global and Strikeforce.
4. Fedor is not ruling out fighting in Japan this year.
5. Neither Fedor nor anyone involved with M-1 Global has had any recent talks about Fedor fighting in the UFC.
Update 2: More from Coker…
“I can tell you this: we’ve been having really good dialogue with M-1 Global and (M-1 Global president) Vadim Finkelchtein, and I think we’re in the final stages of buttoning everything up to make that happen again. I think we’ll have an announcement soon on that, but I feel very confident we’ll be promoting Fedor here in the near future…When I dealt with companies in Japan (during my time with K-1), it’s the same thing. You have cultural differences, and you have expectations. When expectations and the cultural differences meet with the cultural differences here and the expectations of an American company, sometimes there’s some differences, and there’s some things that we needed to button up. We’re at the 11th hour of getting this done, and I think in a couple of days we’ll have something to announce…The rumors that I hear about ‘he has to fight on CBS’ are absolutely untrue. We have a good relationship with Showtime. Eventually, Fedor will be in the pay-per-view business with M-1 and Strikeforce and CBS and Showtime collectively contributing. There’s not a certain media partner that he has to fight on. That’s never been part of his contract, so that’s all just speculation and rumors.”