“I think that we played an important role as sort of a friendly intermediary to both sides, to make sure that this was a win-win-win. There was three parties. It’s hard to do. Everybody had to be comfortable that they were getting a fair deal and something that they can make successful for their business interests. … It was a long process but one we’re proud of and satisfied that came out the right way. We’re happy about it. I think M-1 and Strikeforce are really happy about it as well… We wanted more fights. We thought Fedor, despite the loss, was just as big a star and an asset for our organization and … we wanted more fights from him. Again it was just an opportunity to talk and reevaluate where everybody thought things were good and reevaluate where they weren’t so great and fix it and make sure that everyone was satisfied. That was the opportunity. Every deal is fluid. You sign the contract and then pretend like that’s it — [that’s] not really good business a lot of times. You really want to make sure that you can adapt and change and make sure that your partners are satisfied and you’re satisfied. That’s what we did… They would start almost every call saying, ‘Hey Ken, it’s the crazy Russians. I think they have a great perspective on how they’re perceived by others, and all I can say is I think they’re really smart business people. They’re aggressive and they do a great job for Fedor.”
—Showtime’s Ken Hershman commenting, via Sherdog, on the long negotiation process with M-1 Global to extend Fedor Emelianenko’s contract
Sounds like they really are “one big happy family now.” We’ll see how long that lasts though. If history is any indication, M-1 will want to change something before the ink dries on this contract.
I’ll give this to M-1 though. They lost most of their leverage and still managed to squeeze a deal that met their co-promotional requirements out of Strikeforce and Showtime. We may hate it as fans, but they got what they wanted when they probably shouldn’t have.