In front of many leading members of the MMA media, former PRIDE heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko addressed the public Wednesday for the first time since Affliction announced last week that it was canceling its planned “Trilogy” pay-per-view event.
M-1 U.S.A. Vice President Jerry Millen opened the press conference held at the International Room inside the DoubleTree Hotel & Resort in Anaheim by revealing that Emelianenko will adorn the cover of an upcoming video game release in 2010.
“EA Sports will announce that (M-1 Global’s) Fedor Emelianenko will headline the EA Sports mixed martial arts fighter game due October next year, also along with (M-1 fighter) Gegard Mousasi and Renato ‘Babalu’ Sobral,” Millen announced.
After opening statements were made by both Fedor and M-1 Co-Owner and President Vadim Finkelchtein, reporters were then given their first opportunity to speak with the two.
Initial questions pertained to Affliction’s decision to cancel “Trilogy” last week with both Fedor and Finkelchtein expressing their disappointment with the decision while also once again reaffirming Fedor’s stance of being willing to fight anyone that Affliction deemed worthy.
Naturally, many questions were directed at M-1 officials regarding a report that appeared in the online edition of Tuesday’s Los Angeles Times in which reporter Lance Pugmire claimed that contract talks between the Ultimate Fighting Championships and Fedor were in the process of being finalized.
M-1 officials responded by saying that no deal with the UFC is imminent and that it is negotiating with other potential suitors, most notably, Strikeforce. However, it was confirmed during the press conference that a new round of talks with the UFC and M-1 took place as recently as Tuesday and that M-1 had received a formal offer.
“The UFC made a (new) offer that was a very good offer,” Finkelchtein confirmed.
Despite Finkelchtein’s favorable response, he indicated that a major hurdle still exists between the two companies due to the UFC’s failure to extend M-1 an opportunity to co-promote events. Finkelchtein stated that because M-1 has done its part to grow the sport by promoting shows all over the world that the company is worthy of co-promoting events with the UFC.
As the press event came to a close, Finkelchtein stated that fight fans would not have to wait long to hear about Fedor’s next move.
“We’re not going to wait,” Finkelchtein indicated in regards to seeking a new home for Fedor. “We have to move forward. It might be that very soon we will be able to announce a deal with another promotion.”