Pound for pound great Fedor Emelianenko will be making some stateside appearances prior to his June 26th M-1 Global/Strikeforce co-promoted bout with Fabricio Werdum; this according to Sherdog.com, who recently spoke with M-1 Global’s Director of Operations, Evgeni Kogan.
According to Kogan, and assuming that there will be no visa issues, Emelianenko will land in Los Angeles a few days prior to June 16th and will make appearances at Strikeforce: Los Angeles (set for the 16th) and at E3 – Electronic Entertainment Expo in promotion of the EA Sports MMA video game, in which he is a featured fighter.
On May 15th, Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion Alistair Overeem successfully defended his belt against former Fedor-victim Brett Rogers; after the fight he called out Fedor, taking aim at his management team and accusing them of being afraid to let Fedor fight him for the belt. Kogan says that, oddly enough, Fedor likely has not seen footage of the Dutchman’s post-fight speech or even of the fight itself.
“Given the usual rituals of Fedor’s trainers, they don’t like him watching (potential) future opponents, or anything violent for that matter in preparation to his fight,” said Kogan.
Kogan, who, according to Sherdog, has been with M-1 Global since last winter, asserted that what Overeem said was “categorically untrue” and that Overeem’s continued public attack on M-1 Global is merely “rumor monger(ing),” adding that, “If (Overeem) can point to where Fedor turned down a proposed fight, we’d like to hear it.”
Given the volatile nature of Emelianenko’s status with Strikeforce and his management’s reputation of being difficult to deal with, many MMA fans are doubtful that the very necessary bout with Overeem will ever materialize. Kogan says not to worry, however; provided Fedor gets past Werdum, Kogan says that M-1 Global is open to a fight with “The Demolition Man.”
“His camp is definitely not looking past Werdum,” said Kogan. “They consider him a dangerous opponent. That being said, we have nothing against Overeem as an opponent and we’re completely open to discussing that fight after June 26, if Fedor does well.”
If Fedor can make it past Werdum (and many assume that he will) the only heavyweight title bout that Strikeforce can rightfully make will be between Fedor and Overeem. If they cannot bring that bout to fruition, Strikeforce will likely draw some serious and deserved criticism.