It is hard to keep track of the amount of times that Fedor Emelianenko has been rumored to be in talks with the UFC, only to have that rumor debunked by his management (oftentimes after they start the rumors) team M-1 Global. Whatever the tally is, add another tick mark because Emelianenko’s manager Vadim Finkelstein recently told Russian combat sports news site AllBoxing.ru (through Fighters Only) that any rumors indicating that his client is speaking with the UFC are false.
“It’s stupidity. We are not conducting such negotiations,” said Finkelstein. “Right now we are in active negotiations with Showtime on a contract extension, and perhaps we will renew it. But the UFC does not offer such opportunities and imposes its monopoly conditions. They believe that everyone should be in the UFC.”
As he has stated before, Finkelstein said that his fighter is open and eager to face the UFC’s best heavyweights but that coming to terms on a business deal with the UFC is out of the question.
“We would love to fight with Lesnar, and Velasquez and all but why should we give up all these undertakings, all the years spent on Fedor’s development will go to them? Fedor did not grow in the UFC, right? So why should he go to the UFC? Fedor is now ready to fight. He is 34, he feels fine and is ready to work. He is ready to sign a contract for five or six fights, and do the job very well. He always says he’s ready to act. We need to protect our interests.”
Finkelstein said that Emelianenko’s next step, whatever it ends up being, will be made upon the conclusion of negotiations with his current employers at Showtime/Strikeforce.
“Therefore, in the very near future have to wait for the completion of negotiations with Showtime, and even then it will become clear when and with whom Fedor will fight next,” he said.
Emelianenko is currently coming off of a stunning upset submission loss to Fabricio Werdum dating back to June. “The Last Emperor” has not appeared in action since then due to contract disputes with Strikeforce.