President and Co-owner of M-1 Global and manager of Fedor Emelianenko, Vadim Finkelchtein, has issued his first official comments regarding Affliction’s cancellation of “Trilogy.”
One of the most pressing issues of course is when, where, and who will Fedor fight next. Surprisingly Finkelchtein has not ruled out the possibility of still fighting Josh Barnett.
“We are now with Fedor in the U.S. and we hope to make a decision about his next fight within the next few days,” Finkelchtein stated. “There are many business meetings and negotiations planned with all the major promotions. We will explore the possibility of Fedor fighting Barnett and will even look into whether the fight can take place as soon as August (since Barnett has not been suspended).”
Finkelchtein also believes that the cancellation of “Trilogy” provides the perfect opportunity to re-open negotiations with the UFC and insists this is the time for action.
“This is the moment of truth that the UFC has talked about. Fedor and I are here in the States. If they want to come out and fly here, we are ready to conduct negotiations. Of course it still doesn’t imply we are ready to accept any conditions they’ll throw at us. We want to talk to the UFC about having Fedor compete against some of their fighters, but only within the framework of co-promotional efforts with M-1 Global.”
That statement seems to sum up the entire possibility of Fedor Emelianenko ever fighting in the UFC. The UFC must be willing to do a co-promotion; the same way Affliction did with M-1, the same way the UFC just did with Grapplers Quest at the UFC Fan Expo.
The question is, with M-1 already set to have their first major MMA event in the U.S. on Aug. 28 in Los Angeles, will the UFC be willing to co-promote with someone who is essentially their competition?
Dana White would love nothing more than for Fedor Emelianenko to forever sever ties with Finkelchtein and M-1. And MMA journalists would love to make six-figure incomes. Neither will ever happen.
M-1 is clearly disappointed with Affliction’s decision to cancel the event. Finkelchtein was asked if M-1 would still be willing to work with Affliction.
“This question remains open,” he answered. “Negotiations are currently taking place as we speak. With this cancellation they not only let us down but all the fighters and the MMA fans all over the world as well.”
The complete record of Finkelchtein’s comments can be read on the M-1 Global website at www.m-1global.com.
Stay tuned to PRO MMA (promma.info) as the fallout from Affliction continues.