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M-1 Global Exec Says Reports of Company’s Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

("Trust me. Everything is fine at M-1 Global. We are actually looking at buying the UFC.")

Speaking with’s Loretta Hunt today about a report by’s lead blogger, Michael David Smith, that stated that M-1 Global had closed down its Holland office as a result of the projected financial impact the recent loss by its marquee fighter, Fedor Emelianenko will have on the company, the organization’s director of operations, Evgeni Kogan downplayed the situation.

Calling the firing of four of the office’s 11 employees, whose positions he explained had simply become redundant, a “restructuring,” Kogan, who had been brought in to assess and consult on the company’s structure and operations in January told Hunt that the MMAFighting report was misleading.

Well, after reading the Sherdog story, Smith followed up with Kogan and instead of firing softball questions and taking the textbook Public Relations 101 answers he was fed by Kogan with a spoonful of sugar, Smith followed up with some questions that should have been easy to answer unless the company was trying to conceal something, like ‘Who are the remaining employees at the office in question?’ and ‘Does the company own or lease the office and, ‘Have they informed the landlord that they intend to vacate the offices?’

Kogan pled the fifth on every one of the questions, which either means the original report is true, or he doesn’t know the first thing about PR.

One of Smith’s sources – assumedly one of the fired employees – said that it was Kogan himself who told the group whose jobs were being cut that the reason they were being let go was that the office was closing. Kogan denied the claim, prompting the source to call him a “liar.”

The company, who he says has been in operation since 1997, employs over 60 full-time employees globally, according to Kogan. He maintains that the Holland branch, which looks after most of Emelianenko’s interests, will remain the company’s main headquarters.

“This is just four people out of 70 and there’s constant crossover,”
Kogan told Hunt. “We have people from the Russian office working in the States. We have people from Holland traveling (to shows.) Those four people weren’t four out of 11; it was four of 70.”

Kogan blamed the erroneous report on “a disgruntled former employee” who spoke to a Russian website, suggesting that the report was used by other outlets, creating a chain event of inaccurate stories. He also denied that M-1 has lost investors due to Emelianenko’s defeat at the hands of Fabricio Werdum last month.

“It’s been the same investors and leadership since 1997. It’s been the same people (involved) for 13 years. Nothing has changed. For 13 years, it’s been the same,” he told Sherdog. “It’s the oldest running (MMA) organization in its current form.”

When asked by Smith to name any of the company’s investors, beyond  Russian businessman, Sergei Matvienko, he refused.

"It’s a privately owned company," Kogan said. "We’re not public. You can’t expect private companies to disclose that kind of information."

When Smith pointed out that other organizations like the UFC disclose their investor info, Kogan wouldn’t budge.

"I have no idea why the UFC would make the decision to do that," Kogan said.

Addressing Emelianenko’s loss and the impact it would have on the company as a whole, Kogan told Hunt that they were not in a “state of panic” as Smith had intimated, and that basing a company on one man’s performance would be ludicrous.

“The business side of things doesn’t change. If Michael Schumacher doesn’t win a Formula 1 season, does (it cost him) half the money in the next season? It’s ridiculous. The business reality has nothing to do with one loss. It’s completely misguided to think that it makes any difference. I think [saying we were banking on Fedor never losing] is the same kind of statement as if you said, ‘We’re morons,’” said Kogan.

As far as the impact the loss will have on M-1’s power if and when they renegotiate with Strikeforce, Kogan says the loss won’t have as much impact as many anticipate.

“Fedor has status in this sport, financially and in terms of perspective. To believe any different is to be out of touch with the business reality of mixed martial arts or any other sport for that matter.”


Cagepotato Comments

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JoseMonkey- July 7, 2010 at 8:00 am
@Bill Brasky - Careful, MRuss isn't a big fan of people making those kinds of comments.

I managed to piss him off pretty badly a few times. The first time it prompted him to google stalk me.

(See comment: hxxp://

The second time he falsely accused me of lying / trolling and ignored me when I tried to prove my innocence by citing sources.

(See comments on this post

I pretty much refrain from criticizing him at this point; it's not worth it.
Dick_Gozenya- July 7, 2010 at 12:11 am
Little did you all know Baghdad Bob is the real CEO of M-1 global, running their nefarious daily operations from the safety of his penthouse in the Burj Al Arab, quietly plotting the evil schemes M-1 global is perpetrating in their shodowy bid to overthrow the world's governments and become supreme galactic overlords of the known material universe. You don't think they really employ 70 people just to put fights on in South Korea, do you?
Rxforpain- July 6, 2010 at 11:30 pm
Here are the facts:

Fedor's mystique is gone.
Fedor is less of a draw in the USA then Anderson Silva.
Fedor should be making 250-300k per fight tops (now that he lost).

M-1 is NOT a legitimate business because they:

1) model their business plan around a MMA fighter (WTF?)
2) Cannot hold an event by themselves in the USA without fucking everything up.
3) Hire pointless people. Like Jeremy Millen. That's like Dana White paying an employee six figures a year to only tear open his packets of gummy bears.

Now that Fedor has lost, I say Strikeforce renegotiates their contract by 3/4ths and/or drops the co-promotion. Some "significant restructuring" is going to occur in the next few months, and it will not bode well for M-1 Global.
Shatski- July 6, 2010 at 10:12 pm
Michael David Smith is a fucking douche. After reading a few of his articles, I started to think he was pretty dumb. A few more, he was an idiot. Then after even more, I just avoided any article on that site with his name on it. I can't even bring myself to read anything he writes on there, no matter the topic.
ghostboner- July 6, 2010 at 9:34 pm
Well I don't have no fancy mRuSS feed, plus I don't read too good, so I don't know who the hell writed it.

“It’s been the same investors and leadership since 1997. It’s been the same people (involved) for 13 years. Nothing has changed. For 13 years, it’s been the same,” he told Sherdog. “It’s the oldest running (MMA) organization in its current form.”


"We are still financed by the mafia. It was the mafia 13 years ago, it is the mafia today, and it will be the mafia tomorrow. We will continue to be financed and owned by the mafia until the dying horse that is Fedor's status is completely dead and he ceases to be worth exploiting, at which point the mafia will no longer finance us. Also, I am a hyoog sackadeusche, but still not as big as Jerr bear Millen."

fatbellyfrank- July 6, 2010 at 8:25 pm
"I think [saying we were banking on Fedor never losing] is the same kind of statement as if you said, ‘We’re morons,’” said Kogan."
Its not so much we thought you were banking on Fedor not losing, its just yeah you are morons.
And please dont come back at me with counter arguments or asking me to explaim my rationale, I think they're morons cause I think they're morons
Ballkick- July 6, 2010 at 7:58 pm
Throughout history I have read about leaders coming before the masses to deny the impending doom about to lay waste to a great many things.

Traditionally they do this as a last ditch effort to calm the rumour mills and create a false sense of security for the people that will be most affected by the downfall.

If everyone abandons ship at the same time the captain has no life boat to get into and must go down with the ship.
By selling the idea that everything is fine and all is well this allows the leader/captain to load all the spoils into a lifeboat and steal away into the night....leaving everyone else to fend for themselves when the shit really does hit the fan.
M1 seems,... by their lack of virtue in the past, to quite likely be doing the very thing I spoke of earlier. Wouldn't surprise me in the least.
joshuan29- July 6, 2010 at 7:57 pm
M-1 is a disease to MMA......But no more so than Dana White's overbearing monopolizing ass
rite leg ospitahl- July 6, 2010 at 7:54 pm
i also think this article was a bit of non breaking news. anybody that knows anything knew this would happen as soon as they saw him tap.
rite leg ospitahl- July 6, 2010 at 7:53 pm
i also think this article was a biut of non breaking news. anybody that knows anything knew this would happen as soon as they saw him tap.
rite leg ospitahl- July 6, 2010 at 7:52 pm
i think they are trimming some fat sure i mean cutting out four salaries goes a long way. i think m-1 will be alright depending on the out come of fedors next fight. he triumphs with glory and head held high as he asends into russian heaven, they will be just fine, but if he get ktfo by overeem, m-1 calls it quits.
EvilScott- July 6, 2010 at 5:44 pm

-Kevin Bacon, Animal House (shorty before being trampled)
Sabado Gigante- July 6, 2010 at 5:15 pm
M-1 is bad.
Art Gibs- July 6, 2010 at 5:01 pm

Actually Mike wrote this one, according to the RSS feed. I agree, though. Nice pic.
2DaDeath- July 6, 2010 at 4:36 pm
Kogan is an amazing liar. One of Russia's best!
Smitty- July 6, 2010 at 4:35 pm
Couldn't even bring myself to read the entire article. Who really gives a shit?
ghostboner- July 6, 2010 at 4:31 pm
Excellent use of Iraqi minister of information. you've been waiting for an opportunity to use this haven't you Ben?
Jim Harbaugh Scramble- July 6, 2010 at 4:24 pm
I can only hope the stories are true.

M-1 Global is a disease to the sport of MMA.
Neggar Wants a Watermelon- July 6, 2010 at 4:18 pm
Unless M-1 bet the farm on Bodog.

Wouldn't put it past them.
Almost North- July 6, 2010 at 4:08 pm
Love the picture choice. I believe them though, M-1 is going to survive one loss be Fedor just fine.