Every time I’ve been in the presence of Finkelstein, it’s always been cautiously at a distance. Generally, he’s surrounded by a crew of Russians, some of which look like skilled magicians and the rest resemble the entire cast of Bionic Commando. At one point, the phrase ‘co-promotion’ was the MMA world’s version of ‘winning‘. Except, of course, it wasn’t winning. In fact, it was failing horribly. When Affliction collapsed, Fedor became somewhat of a free-agent with a train of M-1 Global execs that closely followed him. Allegedly, Dana White offered Fedor Emelianenko a six-fight, thirty-million dollar contract with an immediate title shot and a cut of the PPV sales. It was also reported that Dana White would not only let Fedor wear as many M-1 Global logos as he wished, but he would also be allowed to compete in sambo. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal for anyone that wants money, but there was one thing missing from the deal that forced its implosion: co-promotion. Vadim wanted to have M-1 Global and UFC appear on every morsel of marketing, including posters, television commercials and on a plethora of objects at the event. Dana White put on his ‘WTF are these guys talking about?’ face and the deal was never signed. Dana White wouldn’t budge, nor would M-1 Global and fans were forced to create an endless amount of message boards threads, often with the phrase ‘Brock/Fedor would kill Fedor/Brock’ wedged somewhere in it. The fans would never know who would win in that hypothetical match-up, but the following year after ZUFFA stopped negotiating with M-1 Global, we would see both fighters meet a loss within a four-month time span. The fight that would have sold out Cowboys Stadium at one point, suddenly lost much of its luster. New guys like Cain Velasquez and Fabricio Werdum emerged, and it’s safe to say that both companies lost out on hosting perhaps the most watched MMA event of all time.
Scott Coker eventually inherited The Last Emperor (and M-1 Global’s co-promotion demands), and he is currently 1-2 in Strikeforce. With four fights left on his contract, Coker not only states that he plans to have Fedor fight sometime in July, but that with ZUFFA’s recent acquisition of Strikeforce, M-1 Global will still be co-promoting with the organization.
“Fedor’s gonna fight sometime in July. It’s probably toward the end of July or mid-July, but we have fights with Fedor that we’re gonna honor and continue forward. We’re gonna do the co-branding exercise that we do with M-1 every time we do fights with them.”
“The opponent has not been chosen, but I think having Fedor involved close to the tournament as an alternate is definitely a possibility.”