M-1 Director Of Operations Joost Raimond recently sat down with USA Today to discuss a variety of issues mainly focused around the possibility of Fedor Emelianenko fighting Randy Couture in the UFC. He also expounded on the UFC’s failed negotiations with Fedor last year. Below are some of the highlights of their conversation:
Raimond On The Possibility Of Fedor vs. Couture In The UFC:
“Who knows? What that will do for a possible bout between Fedor and Randy, that’s very difficult to say at this point in time. The only thing I can say from our side is that we are open and willing to work with any organization to make that fight happen, and we’ve also expressed that to the UFC. Irrespective of who the organization is, we’re willing to work with anybody to do that. The contracts that Fedor has at this point in time would allow for such a fight to take place, and specifically the Randy fight, so we’re free to make that happen if the opportunity presents itself. We’ve made provisions in any and all contracts that refer to Fedor to allow that fight to take place, with any organization in conjunction or in coooperation with whoever. Contractually there’s not an issue.
Raimond On White’s Assertion That Fedor Will Eventually Have To Sign With The UFC:
I think other organizations, and specifically our organization, M-1, together with Affliction — I think we’re doing pretty well. And if Dana wants to sit around and watch us go out of business, he might have to sit in his chair for awhile. That’s fine. Let’s say that at some point — and granted, this is another if — but let’s say Dana White is right and the other organizations aren’t able to survive. Does Fedor need to continue fighting? Would he say, “Well, UFC is my only option?” or would he move on and do other things? Both would be possible. There’s nobody that would force him to fight, of course. That’s his own decision. He can retire from the sport at any time he so pleases. He has a university degree in athletics and sports management, so he could pursue other job opportunities or other career opportunities in his life, most certainly. And again, like I said before, if the UFC is still out there once all these other organizations have disappeared as Dana might be projecting, that’s certainly something that could be entertained. The thing I don’t like is — why talk about sitting around, waiting for other organizations to fall over? In my eyes, if you look at how marketing principle in any other industry or any other business, is that healthy competition — and I seriously mean healthy competition — is good for any market and it’s good for the sport. It’s good for the sport if there’s more than one organization out there which is seriously promoting the sport.
Raimond On Issues With The Last Negotiations Involving The UFC:
I was very much involved in the last time you’re referring to, and at that point in time, there were aspects in the UFC contract which just did not coincide with the way we see things and how we wanted to proceed. If that exact same contract would come back on the table, I would still not see us get back together. If a possible contract would change on a number of very specific points, that could very much be entertained.
To read the rest of this article with much more from Joost Raimond, click here.