(Fedor and the M-1 crew, in happier times.)
Could Fedor Emelianenko become a free agent after suffering through five months of M-1 Global’s disorganization and managerial impotence? According to a new bombshell dropped by ESPN: The Magazine, hellz to the yeah.
Apy Echteld, one of Emelianenko’s agents, confirmed what a source close to the situation previously told The Magazine: M-1 Global and Emelianenko will part ways some time in the next week, making the Russian a free agent. Divorce negotiations are ongoing right now, with a formal announcement likely for in the next few days. “Officially, yes, Fedor will be a free agent,” Echteld says.
Holy crap, does this mean that Dana White would be willing to resurrect negotiations with the “crazy Russians” and work on making the Fedor/Randy fight happen in the UFC?
“Absolutely, 100 percent, in a heartbeat,” says White. “People think he’s the best — I don’t, not even close. But if it’s somehow possible, I would make it happen…As much as we’ve gone back and forth on this, I would sign Fedor and do everything possible to get Randy in the Octagon with him…because A., it’s a great fight and B., I think Randy would smash Fedor.”
Echteld responded in a poetic fashion that’s common to Russians: “If everybody is willing to put a little wine in the water, then we have something to work with.” Through his spokesman, Couture declined to comment.
Well this is fucking awesome! The long international nightmare that was the M-1 Global farce looks like it’s about to end, and Fedor can move on with his life. Except not so fast. Maybe it’s just good old-fashioned denial, but M-1 Global prez/CEO Monte Cox is still insisting that Fedor ain’t goin’ nowheres. “As of right now, M-1 Global and Fedor are still working together,” he told MMAWeekly.com:
Cox declined to comment about the ESPN article, but said M-1’s plans were still underway for its first event on American soil, a June 14 card at the Sears Center in the Chicago area, still expected to feature Emelianenko. The show has been rescheduled from a May 3 date at the Allstate Arena, also in the Chicago area.
Monte Cox probably just didn’t get the memo yet, which is understandable because M-1 memos first have to be translated from Russian into English, and that takes time. Anyway, cross your fingers that M-1 swirls down the shitter, because Fedor signing to fight Randy in the UFC would pretty much solve everyone’s problems.
UPDATE: From Sherdog: According to one source that asked not to be identified, M-1 will likely expect Emelianenko to return a $1.5 million signing bonus he was paid last September. Negotiations should be finalized by Tuesday of next week, the same source said.