In an interview with Russian sports website Chamionat.com posted Tuesday, M-1 Global President Vadim Finkelstein said following Fedor Emelianenko‘s New Year’s Eve bout with Satoshi Ishii in Japan, which is currently in the works, he would like to present an offer to UFC President Dana White to have Fedor fight former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez in Moscow:
“We intend to move forward and offer UFC deal, under which the M-1 is committed to organize a fight between Fedor and Velasquez in 2012 in Moscow. I can guarantee Dana White that charges from this match in Russia will be no worse than in America, and the occupancy of the hall and did break a record attendance. M-1 is ready for dialogue, we will be glad to consider various options to create a tournament together. In the near future I will go out with a proposal to his ‘best friend’ (referring to Dana White) will see how it responds. A huge army of fans want to see this fight, and we want it, the only question in fact, go there at this UFC? Velasquez has lost his last fight and lost the title, so why would he, instead of climbing back on top, do not agree to a meeting with one of the best fighters in history? The last tournament of the “Olympic” has shown great interest in how the Russian public to fights MMA and Fedor in particular. If we are able to negotiate with Velasquez, the excitement will be many times higher, which means that half of the arena, “Olympic,” we will have enough. Now all our thoughts are directed at the organization next fight Fedor, which we hope will take place in Japan. However, the organizational details about the fight with Velasquez will be solved in parallel.”
It would not be the first time Finkelstein and White tried to negotiate. Finkelstein seems to have a pretty good sense of humor about the whole thing though. When asked if he thinks White will be surprised at his offer, Finkelstein laughed and said:
“That’s right! He will surely say, ‘Oh, that crazy Russian again!’ “
When asked how confident he was that a bout between Fedor and Velasquez could be arranged, Finkelstein replied:
“It’s hard to say. Everything will depend on the interest of the UFC in this matter. I know that Velazquez has repeatedly expressed interest in the person of Fedor and was not opposed to fighting with him. Anyway, so he said in his interview.”
Finkelstein’s argument appears to be since Velasquez recently lost his title to Junior Dos Santos, and instead of immediately trying to earn another shot at the title, why not fight one of “the best fighters in history”?
He goes on to promise that the UFC will make tons of money with the fight by doing it in Russia and a “huge army of fans” want to see this fight.
Thoughts for discussion:
What do you think MMA fans, any chance this fight could happen, or is White done dealing with those “crazy Russians”?
Is Fedor vs. Velasquez even a fight that you would want to see? Personally, I like this match-up. I think it’s an awesome match-up. Do I think it will happen? Probably not.
However, if Russia is a market the UFC wants to break into, and according to White, they “are going everywhere”. Then of course there is no better Russian fighter to have on your card than Fedor.
But, the fact remains, he has lost some (a lot) of his luster and a decision win over a man who does not throw strikes (Monson) does not a champion make. Therefore, if Vadim is serious about doing a deal, any sort of “demands” they may have, need to be minimal.