I’m not sure how long we can pretend like we understood what happened with Fedor’s contract from June 26th 2010 to whenever it was announced that The Last Emperor would participate in the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand-Prix. It was as if logic went on hiatus and took an extended vacation from reality, only to return six months later with a tan and a freshly inked contract for Fedor Emelianenko. Not everything in this universe must have an explanation for it to be true, just look any film directed by Harmony Korine. In an interview conducted by Julia Kuklin, Evgeni Kogan, M-1 Global’s Director of Operations, gives us an explanation as to why Fedor’s contract negotiations moved at the speed of light, but only in reverse.
It’s worth noting that the talks included Showtime as well. With the three of us – M-1 Global, Strikeforce and Showtime – needing to define and share a common vision and goals, talks and negotiations addressed details from all sides in order to develop a mutually understood and agreed upon path.
We had one fight remaining under Fedor’s contract and M-1 and our partners at Showtime and Strikeforce wanted to extend the relationship. Everyone wanted to see Fedor’s participation in co-promoted M-1 Global and Strikeforce events continue and this is where the negotiation process started. Coming to the terms of a new contract required the cooperation between all three major companies and we engaged in serious discussions following Fedor’s fight against Werdum last June.
The resulting new contract will see Fedor in action more frequent as it’s anticipated that he will fight three times this year thanks to participating in the World Heavyweight Grand Prix. In my opinion, this tournament is one of the greatest events the sport of MMA has put together over the past three or four years – possibly of all time – and I think it was worth the wait. This year is primed to give fans more than they could have ever expected.
If you ever meet Evgeni Kogan, he will also claim that he’s a better dresser than you — and he’s probably correct in his assumption. Fortunately for you, MMA fandom isn’t measured by how many Armani suits and custom tailored gators you rock. Not at all. It’s about how many times you can break down a Fedor fight without using the words ‘Dude’, ‘WTF’ and ‘Wow’. [Source]