“Thanks, but no thanks” is the general attitude of Fedor Emelianenko and his management team on a contract offered to the Russian heavyweight by the UFC.
Emelianenko told an audience during a press conference in Orange yesterday, “The offer which was made by UFC is not interesting to us.”
Lance Pugmire of The Los Angeles Times, which had originally reported earlier this week that the UFC would announce the signing of Emelianenko this Friday, noted that the intense negotiations reached “a quiet end” yesterday.
This comes after much speculation that Emelianenko would consider a contract with the UFC following the recent demise of his fighting home, Affliction Entertainment. But “nyet” says Vadim Finkelchtein, president of Emelianenko’s promotion company, M-1 Global.
“The UFC sometimes calls us the crazy Russians, but we’re not that crazy,” Finkelchtein said. “I don’t understand the policy of the UFC. The UFC won’t be able to control the whole world. The market is so big. . . The UFC proposal doesn’t give us a chance for us to do what we want to do.”
As noted yesterday, CBS Radio MMA host Carmichael Dave revealed that the UFC presented Emelianenko with a six-fight, $30 million dollar contract. At $5 million per fight, that would easily make him the highest paid fighter in the organization’s history. He was also offered an immediate title shot, with M-1 Global receiving a cut of the Lesnar – Fedor PPV (which would likely be the biggest PPV in MMA history) on top of Emelianenko’s salary. He would also be able to wear the M-1 Global logo on any of his attire, and that he would be allowed to compete in combat sambo, a point of contention in their negotiations in 2007.
However, what Emelianenko’s camp wants is for the UFC to accept a deal that will allow M-1 to co-promote two or three of Fedor’s fights with the UFC, a term which is virtually guaranteed to be denied by the UFC.
“We will work only on co-promotion conditions,” Finkelchtein adamantly stated.
For now, the UFC’s plan to put UFC Heavyweight champ Brock Lesnar in the octagon against the widely regarded top pound-for-pound fighter is on ice. Fedor’s management team says the heavyweight will be exploring fighting opportunities with other MMA organizations, including Strikeforce, as well as any new offers from the UFC.
No comment has been made by UFC President Dana White or company co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta on the negotiations with Emelianenko. However, UFC officials will conduct a press conference this Friday to possibly address the situation, as well announce a deal with ESPN. White may also announce the signing of some Affliction fighters to the organization, as well as a rumored return of Tito Ortiz to the organization.
Stay tuned to FightLine.com for updates on this story throughout the week.