M-1 Global President Vadim Finkelstein recently spoke with LowKick.com to discuss a number of topics including his client Fedor Emelianenko’s next fight, his and Fedor’s relationship with the UFC and UFC President Dana White and the upcoming M-1 Global fighter reality show.
MMA fans around the world have been pining to see Emelianenko in the UFC ever since Zuffa, LLC (the UFC’s parent company) purchased PRIDE FC in 2007. For various reasons, M-1 Global and the UFC have not been able to come to terms over the past three years and, now that White has expressed he has no interest in acquiring Emelianenko since “The Last Emperor” lost to UFC castoff Fabricio Werdum this past June, Finkelstein does not believe that fans will ever see Emelianenko in the UFC or against the UFC’s Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar.
“First of all, we never had any sort of relationship with Dana White, and secondly, he said that he was no longer interested in Fedor – we should have expected this,” said Finkelstein. “We want to arrange a fight with Brock Lesnar, but I think it’s no longer possible.”
M-1 Global is set to run their own version of the MMA fighter/reality TV show dynamic which has gained popularity since the rise of the UFC’s The Ultimate Fighter show. Finkelstein cannot say whether or not M-1 Global’s MMA fighter reality show will share any similarities with “TUF”, however, because he claims never to have seen an episode.
“I have not seen the Ultimate Fighter even once,” calimed Finkelstein. “So I cannot say how they differ. But I know exactly what we are trying to achieve by launching the M-1 Fighters: We want our guys to get recognized. Reality show reveals them as individuals. They are the same as all the guys, but they have their own purpose. In the project, we see them as interesting, good and spiritual people. They are simple and good guys. And of course we want this show to improve the popularity of MMA in Russia.”
It was recently announced that Emelianenko’s only legitimate conqueror, Fabricio Werdum, will be out of action until early 2011 due to elbow surgery. M-1 Global and Fedor had expressed the desire to face Werdum in an immediate rematch but Finkelstein said that they will not wait for Werdum to recover and, although they still want to have Fedor fight Werdum again, “The Last Emperor” will likely face another opponent in the interim; who or when are still unfinished details.
“I heard that Fabricio Werdum postponed his surgery, and will not be able to fight Fedor in the near future,” said Finkelstein. “We are currently working on an intermediate fight for Fedor Emelianenko. We’ll know soon who will be his next opponent. But I still think that the rematch against Fabricio Werdum is what MMA fans would like to see.”