(Meanwhile, Fedor’s urine test came up positive for vodka and childlike wonderment. Props to M1.)
Fedor Emelianenko and his manager, M-1 Global president Vadim Finkelchtein, held a press conference today in Moscow to assure fans that contrary to recent reports, death-reports/”>he is still alive. Kidding, y’all. Actually, they met with Russian media to answer questions about this Josh Barnett clusterfuck. Some highlights:
On Barnett: “I feel disappointed about this situation. But I will fight anyone who Affliction puts in front of me. I know a lot of fans waited for this fight to happen and I am sorry for them. I can’t do much about it now but I am in good shape, my training has been good and continues to go well…There was no specific manner to prepare for the planned bout with Josh Barnett. It’s all the same: standup and ground game… Undoubtedly, it’s better to know the name of your opponent long before the fight.”
On Barnett’s Replacement: “By the end of the evening we expect to officially announce who’ll be the replacement for Barnett. Vitor Belfort agreed to come in principle. We personally entertain the idea of having Brett Rogers step in since he knocked Andrei Arlovski out. But if there is any problem with Rogers, then it’s pretty safe to say it’s going to be Belfort. However, we are well aware of the fact that fans don’t consider Vitor Belfort to be a suitable replacement, according to a recent Sherdog poll*…Belfort can make heavyweight but the fans don’t want this fight. Fedor isn’t seeking an easy fight. If logistics weren’t an issue, we’d like to see Fedor fight against Brett Rogers. Fans want it (and) so do we.”
On the UFC: “We are open to any offer. The issue really is with the UFC, not with us. We are ready to fight the UFC champions…Just remember the scandal when we founded M-1 Global. Randy Couture left the UFC in order to get the opportunity of fighting Fedor. Then the UFC sidelined him and litigation ensued. We want to negotiate and cooperate with the UFC but it seems as though they are not ready…The UFC’s roster is occupied by a vast majority of American athletes. Not every single best fighter is under their banner. So don’t believe the hype. There is no real international diversity that’s anywhere close to what we’re doing with our M-1 Challenge concept.”
* It is still unclear how Fedor feels about the current CagePotato poll ("Which current UFC champion will be the last to lose his title?"), though one would assume he’d select Georges St. Pierre.