If you’re still holding out hope that Fedor Emelianenko will finally sign with the UFC after he fulfills the remaining fight on his Strikeforce contract, sorry, but I’ve got some bad news for you. Earlier today, M-1 Global posted a recap from a recent M-1 press conference on their website with quotes from Fedor and M-1 exec Evgeni Kogan talking about a contract extension with Strikeforce. Kogan said the process was going very smoothly and should be resolved soon, while Fedor alluded to a 4-6 fight extension and mentioned they currently have no interest in the UFC while they’re still working with Strikeforce.
Early in the conference, Emelianenko fielded the now cliché question regarding his interest in fighting for the UFC. “ For now (we) M-1Global works with Strikeforce and we are concentrating on that, the contract is not over yet. So for now we don’t have any interest in the UFC.”
“The relationship between ourselves, Strikeforce, and Showtime is a good one, we had a great event in June in San Jose, and we look forward to more good events with our partners.” added M-1Global director of operations Evgeni Kogan.
When asked about media reports that focused on tensions between M-1Global and Strikeforce, Kogan has this to say, “The issues stemming from the Nov 9th show were ironed out and we all took a lot of positives from San Jose. Now we are in talks to extend the contract for Fedor and at the same time to settle on who, when and where he is fighting next. These talks are going smoothly and we are hopeful of a full resolution very shortly.”
When asked, “How many fights?” he had left, the Russian superstar was very candid and specific in his response “so far I feel very comfortable fighting, very good with my fighting, and I’m planning of fighting as long as I can physically. As far and I’m concerned we should discuss the possibility of signing another contract for 4-6 fights.”
In a follow up story, Evgeni Kogan told MMA Fighting’s Mike Chiapetta “we are probably two-thirds of the way there” on an extension with Strikeforce.
“I think the talks are going well,” he said. “There are always things to get sorted and ironed out but we are probably two-thirds of the way there. I think that the next fight and the deal overall will be announced at the same time within the next month. We have an [M-1 Selection] event in [Atlantic City,] New Jersey on September 18, and we may be ready to announce by then, hopefully.”
While Kogan could not go into the specifics of the negotiations, he noted that the remaining points to be agreed upon were “working out the details… timeframes, frequency of fights, financials of course and a few other things as well.”
Kogan also believes Fedor will be back in the cage before the end of the year assuming the deal is finalized in time, but if that’s the case, who will he fight? Earlier this week, Scott Coker essentially ruled out Fabricio Werdum and Alistair Overeem as potential opponents for Fedor in 2010. Antonio Silva also seems like a long shot after Coker suggested he was a possible opponent for Overeem in October. That doesn’t leave many compelling options. All Kogan would say that it would be a match-up that “pleases the fans.”