It has been reported by Sherdog over the last weekend that signals have been made reflecting progress between Strikeforce and M-1 Global management over the recent re-negotiations over pound-for-pound star Fedor Emeliananko’s contract and return, the M-1 Global brand exposure during co-promoted events and rumors about contacting the UFC for a new round of bargaining.
“There is no truth to that. No one met with the UFC,” said Evgeni Kogan, M-1 Global’s Director of Operations. “We have been re-checking the contract with Strikeforce, but there has been no negotiations with anyone else.”
Fedor last competed against Brett Rogers outside Chicago last November during Strikeforce’s last CBS venture. During the same card, Fedor’s next opponent Fabricio Werdum defeated Antonio “Big Foot” Silva via unanimous decision. The victory solidified an opportunity for Werdum to fight the former Pride heavyweight champion, Emeliananko at some point during the first half of 2010.
With the match all but announced, many wondered if the bout would be added to Strikeforce’s next highly anticipated CBS show featuring a headlining match between middleweight champ Jake Shields and MMA legend, Dan Henderson.
Strikeforce CEO, Scott Coker, announced Monday that Fedor’s return to the ring would happen in the early months of summer rather than on the April 17th card. Kogan also agreed on the newly set timetable.
“I think June, July is realistic (for Emelianenko’s return),” Kogan told Sherdog. “It’s not 100 percent. Don’t take this as a fight announcement, but I think during the summer.”
As far as the renegotiation with Strikeforce, Kogan mentioned that the process was close to completion and the reasons behind the new talks with the American organization were due to M-1 Global issues after the last CBS show in Chicago.
He stressed that both parties were near the end of the road, assuring the MMA community that no major changes were made—just minor “tweaks.”
“Obviously, we are much more than the management company for Fedor,” said Kogan. “For us, it’s really important that the M-1 Global brand is acknowledged on these co-promotion events. As much as the partners made a lot of effort to acknowledge the co-branding, the media basically picked up on the fact that it was Strikeforce and kind of forgot about everything else, which wasn’t the most ideal for us.”