Earlier this week, Fedor Emelianenko issued a statement that he would finally like to take on Alistair Overeem sometime this winter. Fireworks exploded, birds flew in ‘fist-pump’ formations, the world reunited and then in an interview with Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting, Alistair stated he wasn’t even interested in a fight with Fedor. Before you accuse Ubereem of ducking The Last Emperor, his reasoning makes a lot more sense than you think.
“No, not at all. When I fought Brett Rogers there was much criticism over how the champion could fight a fighter that lost his last fight. If you co-promote with people that have their own demands it’s hard to make good and logical fights. If you look at another big MMA organization in the States, you can see that they have a clear road map of who’s fighting who and which fighters are entitled to get a shot at the championship belt. Having a clear virtual ranking is one of the reasons they are successful because they can hype fights. You can debate if I’m the number one in Strikeforce using results of the past, but the fact remains that Fedor signed with Strikeforce and chose Werdum instead of me. We all know that in every organization Fedor is more than welcome to fight straight for the belt due to his stature and experience, but if his management decided that they would like a tune-up fight and then Werdum before fighting me they are taking a risk. Fighting in a organization is just the same as climbing a ladder. If you lose, you will fall a couple of steps down and if you win you go up. It’s not fair to other fighters that are climbing the same ladder. So to make a long story short, I’m the champion, which means I’m number one, not based on ranking but because I’m wearing the belt.”
“Number two is clearly Werdum because of his win over Fedor and Antonio Silva. Fedor losing means he’s number 3 and Antonio Silva, who came back from a loss against Werdum by defeating Arlovski is clearly the number 4. So in that case, Fedor should fight Antonio Silva and the winner of that fight should fight against the winner of a bout between myself and Werdum. It’s just that simple — it’s not rocket science.”
Later in the interview, Ubereem says Fedor has no idea what M-1 Global is demanding behind his back and claims that his management is ‘manipulating’ and playing ‘tricks’ on him. If the allegations are true, it’s sort of futile to exploit a guy that could take out the entirety of M-1 Global with one swift overhand right.
Yesterday, Josh Gross of Sports Illustrated said M-1 Global was asking for Olympic-style drug testing for the potential bout to which Overeem’s camp declined and insisted regular drug testing from the athletic commission would do just fine. Yes, the Pacquiao/Mayweather allusions are blatantly there and if Ubereem/Fedor plays out like whatever is going on between Bob Arum and Golden Boy Promotions, this fight will be caught in an endless loops of technicalities and accusations.
According to Dave Walsh of Head Kick Legends, Golden Glory’s Bas Boon claims that all of this resides in the realm of ‘bull [expletive]’. Bas Boon states that M-1 Global chose the timeline of November/December for Fedor to face Overeem because they knew Alistair would be competing in the K-1 GP and thus be forced to decline the fight. Boon also claims that M-1 calling out Overeem was a negotiation tactic to get FEG to pin together a possible Josh Barnett vs. Fedor Emelianenko bout for Dynamite!! 2010.
Wait, it gets even nuttier. This morning I get a phone call from someone inside this whole debacle who stated that negotiations for Fedor to fight in Japan on New Years Eve have already fell through and that M-1 Global is currently trying to assemble a fight between Fedor and Blagoi Ivanov, the guy who defeated Emelianenko in Sambo in in the semi-finals of the 2008 World Sambo Championships. The fight is being pinned to take place in Russia sometime this winter. I was also told the Fedor is severely disappointed of this outcome.
The drama will never end between these two. I’m sure there’s some Greek mythological metaphor I can refer to that would appropriately describe the turmoil between Fedor and Ubereem, but I spent an entire semester of Classical Greek and Roman Mythology looking at the chick who sat in front of me. That statement could apply to every class I attended at The University of Arizona.