Fedor Emelianenko and his management addressed the public during a press conference today. 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 Global president Vadim Finkelchtein stated that he once again offered to have a co-promotion with his Russian M-1 Global promotion and the UFC. 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.
“The UFC has their champions; we (M-1 Global) also have our champions and our representatives,” Finkelchtein said. “We offered to have a co-promotion.”
Finkelchtein noted that the UFC responded “very quietly” to their offer. Emelianenko had come close to signing with the organization in the summer of 2007, however negotiations failed after Finkelstein demanded that the UFC work with M-1 Global and permit Emelianenko to compete in combat sambo tournaments. While the UFC has since stated that they would allow Fedor to continue to compete in sambo to sign him, it is virtually guaranteed that the UFC would not allow Fedor’s fights to be co-promotional ventures with M-1 Global.
“The UFC made a (new) offer that was a very good offer,” Finkelchtein stated. He noted that while their offer was good, it wasn’t enough to convince them to sign with the UFC. He went on to say that further progress may be made later, but not now. He also revealed that Emelianenko was negotiating with other organizations, including Strikeforce.
“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.”
Meanwhile, MMAJunkie is reporting that a source close to the UFC said that officials are devoting much of their resources to secure a deal with Emelianenko in time for an official announcement during Friday’s media call. The Los Angeles Times has also posted an update to their story yesterday, where it was reported that a deal between the UFC and Emelianenko would be announced on Friday. In today’s report, they stated that negotiations are intense, but will likely drag past Friday. They noted that no deal-breaking event has happened since yesterday, but negotiations are complex and will likely require “more than 48 hours.”
Meanwhile, Dave Meltzer of Yahoo! Sports is reporting that two different sources have informed him that negotiations have once again fallen through.