It has been reported by MMAJunkie.com that UFC president Dana White and M1-Global head Vadim Finkelstein rekindled negotiations that could lead to an agreement allowing pound-for-pound legend, Fedor Emelianenko and former DREAM middleweight champion and current Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion, Gegard Mousasi, to compete in the octagon under the UFC banner.
White appears to be holding the details of the affair close to his chest but hinted that the talks took place “more recently than you would think.” A day after White confirmed that talks had been rejuvenated; Finkelstein verified the news on his Twitter account.
This could progress the sour relationship between the two sides considering their failed attempts to cooperatively find mutual ground after last year’s negotiation debacle. Despite Dana White’s willingness to compromise around every M-1 Global demand, except co-promoting events, the most obvious obstacle still exists; both Emelianenko and Mousasi are currently under contract with American promoting rival Strikeforce, who heavily rely on both fighters as staples to the roster and the organization.
Following White’s update, he was asked how likely it would be to see Mousasi, a 24-year old Dutch striker, fighting in the octagon alongside his Red Devil Sports Club teammate, Fedor.
“I wouldn’t say he never would be,” White said on Saturday. “It’s not that I don’t want to talk to M-1. I want to get this [expletive] done. I want him, and I want Fedor. I want to do it. And I never say never. They can call me right now, and we can start talking and figure this thing out. I’d love to get Mousasi in here. He should be. He deserves to be.”
He also revealed his fondness for the young fighter by adding, “I like [Mousasi] a lot. I’d love to get him in here and try him out with some of the other guys.”
A potential plan worked out between the UFC and M-1 Global would be devastating to Strikeforce and their broadcasting partners, CBS and Showtime. The loss of both men would set off a ratings avalanche for future shows and would cause a massive blow to a company that has spent a lot of time and money acquiring legitimate contenders to help gain a piece of the MMA market in America from the promoting powerhouse, the UFC.
Each fighter was recently showcased in Strikeforce’s debut CBS event, Fedor vs. Rogers in Chicago, as heavy main card draws. The following CBS production on April 17th would not be any different since plans have already been made by Strikeforce to have Mousasi (28-2-1) defend his light-heavyweight belt, against an unknown opponent, as an added attraction to the headlining fight between “The Last Emperor” Fedor Emelianenko (31-1) and two-time Brazilian Jiu Jitsu champion, Fabricio Werdum.