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M-1′s Raimond Says Fedor Is Contractually Free to Fight Couture in the UFC

(With the right contract, maybe Fedor can even afford to finally quit his part-time construction gig.)

Dana White has managed to shoot down most of the ‘what if’ questions in regards to Randy Couture facing Fedor Emelianenko in the UFC by repeating over and over again that Fedor is under contract with “another organization” and thus they can’t even talk about making that deal yet. But in an interview with USA Today’s Sergio Non, M-1′s Director of Operations Joost Raimond says that’s not really the issue:

The contracts that Fedor has at this point in time would allow for such a fight to take place, and specifically the Randy fight, so we’re free to make that happen if the opportunity presents itself.

…[A]nd the UFC knows that. That’s not a secret and we’ve always been very open that the Randy-Fedor fight is something special. It’s not your ordinary contract fight, as far as any fight can be ordinary.

But we’ve made provisions in any and all contracts that refer to Fedor to allow that fight to take place, with any organization in conjunction or in coooperation with whoever. Contractually there’s not an issue. … so I don’t know Dana would be calling that out, because the UFC is well aware that we have that contractual possibility.

So if it’s not his Affliction contract that’s holding things up, what’s the problem? From the sound of things, M-1 and Fedor’s “crazy Russian” management team are getting in the way. When asked if Fedor would be willing to sign an exclusive contract with the UFC — and as we all know, that’s the only way they do business — Raimond said it wasn’t a “feasible option.” And why not?

Because we have a contract with Affliction. We also — M-1, as an organization, we have a partnership with Affliction to co-promote events. We value that relationship very much, so signing a contract for a longer period of time, for a multiple-fight deal for Fedor with the UFC, is just not in the picture right now.

But once his contract with Affliction runs out and once he fulfills his M-1 commitments, would he then be willing to do an exclusive deal with UFC?

At that point in time, just like everybody else, I’m not able to look into a crystal ball, but if there are no further contractual obligations, and our partnership with Affliction would allow it, and Fedor would still be fighting — I’m already calling out a lot of ifs — yeah, we’ll entertain anything, including a deal with the UFC.

And who knows, By that time, there might be other organizations who are very interesting to talk to.

But to answer your question, if all those ifs are not an issue, then at that point in time, we will entertain that discussion with the UFC, certainly. … (But) let me make it clear that at this point and also for the coming period, that’s just not in the game plan.

Here’s what I’m hearing: M-1 has Fedor, Affliction is just borrowing him, but doing so with the knowledge that he can go fight Randy Couture wherever and whenever. What he can’t do is sign exclusive contracts, not until his deal with Affliction is up, and not unless M-1 (aka Fedor’s management team) gets a healthy slice of the pie for themselves.

Okay, I inferred that last part based on past observations, but it is rather suspicious the way M-1 and Fedor’s management are one and the same. They always talk about wanting to “co-promote,” but really what they seem to mean is they want to be paid for the rights to use Fedor and have the opportunity to make a few self-promotional speeches at the pre-fight press conferences. Affliction seemed okay with those conditions, but the UFC? Not bloody likely.

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gaara- October 20, 2008 at 7:00 am
hey suckhead, the only reason why fedor doesnt wana sign with a deal with the ufc is that the ufc fyi is having at least a 4 fight deal with the ufc...and if ever fedor will sign that 4 fight deal or 3 and win all of them..then he will have to resign the contract over and over again until he losses you moron...he cant leave the ufc having their puny dckwad open in the public u ahole..
JPfighter- September 5, 2008 at 12:45 am
Anybody else getting sick hearing about whether or not Fedor will fight? He's starting to look like a blend of Tito Ortiz and Frank Shamrock, for shit sake. The only thing stopping Fedor from fighting Randy is Fedor and his management. That's it. The UFC would likely want a 3 fight contract, and if Fedor would have signed when the negotiations began long ago, those 3 fights could almost be complete by now. Instead, Fedor plays games on the sidelines, a la Frank Shamrock. Ya, so he beat the shit out of Tim Sylvia. Big deal. Tim will never beat another top-10 heavyweight in his life, ever. Period. Anybody that said "Fedor is real" after seeing the Tim fight should give their head a shake. Fedor IS for real. He was for real BEFORE the Tim fight. The question is not whether of not his is for real, the question is will he have the balls to fight the best? And will he be relevant in 12 months if he keeps playing these BS games? My guess is no. Fedor's stock is slowly going down, and sadly by the time we see Fedor fight some real competition, he will probably no longer be at his peak. Either fight in the UFC, or go back to Russia to play Russian-sambo-pattycake.
@ UFC fan- September 4, 2008 at 5:44 pm
He's only been fed cans? How about him beating the shit out of the interim HW champ Nog? 3 times? Coleman, Nog, Randleman, Crocop, Herring, Sylvia.....all have fought multiple times in the UFC. I guess the organization you nuthug likes to hire cans as well. Then they buy out the can supplier too. BTW, I like the UFC and am looking forward to tommorrow.
Old, Bald and Irish- September 4, 2008 at 1:28 pm
@ "Anonymous"

Hate to say it, but I think you're right. At this point, I don't think the Ravdy v Fedor fight will ever happen.

And you know what? I'm starting to not care about it anymore.

Would it be a great fight? For sure. But there is just waaaaay to much BS to wade through to make it happen. The UFC doesn't make deals with outside organizations...period. Thier business model is to be like the NFL. There is only one NFL. They plan the same thing for the UFC. Why make deals when you have the best stable of fighters in the world? Sure, Fedor is great. But with Affliction and M1 Global, you got Fedor, Arlovski, Rothwell, Babalu, Hordecki and Barnett. For the most part, that's their big names. That's all they have.

Compare that to the UFC's heavyweight division. Do I have to list all of the top name fighters competing in the UFC right now? Would one man (Fedor) make that much of a difference to the UFC? Of course not. Would it be cool? Hell yes. Does Dana White NEED Fedor? No way. I'd be nice, but not neccessary.

I mean, come on. Who isn't stoked about the Randy v Brock fight? See how easy it was for White to put that together? Once he got randy back, he MADE a superfight. He could have just as easily thrown him against Liddel or Silva and it would have been just as big. White knows he has that kind of bargaining power because of the exclusive contracts. It makes his life simple. Why complicate things? As far as White is concerned, Fedor is more trouble than he's worth.

@ "NINJA STICK" and "sol"

Jardine is seriously underpaid. They had the Liddel v Jardine fight on UFC Unleashed about two weeks ago. He was toe-to-toe with Liddel. Granted, Wanderlei slaughtered him, but if Wandy didn't he was gonna be in serious trouble. That was a do-or-die fight for him.

Personally, I wouldn't take the physical punishment that Jardine does for 14K. maybe I'm a puss, but Wandy put him in the hospital. Half of that 14K probably went to medical bills.
UFC fan- September 4, 2008 at 12:53 pm
Fuck fedor, hes scared. always was scared of stepping up to the big league.
His management is a bunch of posers who dont want to see their fighter become irrelevant. They think by feeding him cans his whole life he will stay on top as the #1 fighter, and its working, look at the nut-sucking fans he has.
I dont think we will ever see fedor Couture, cause fedors a coward.
sol- September 4, 2008 at 11:21 am
Ninja Stick, I think Jardine actually only gets like 14k to turn up for fights regardless of the outcome.
NINJA STICK- September 4, 2008 at 9:35 am
Cancer- September 4, 2008 at 8:15 am
I have a nice grip on this cute child.
Anonymous- September 4, 2008 at 7:47 am
honestly the randy fedor fight will NEVER happen ,couture would not only have to beat lesnar he would also have to beat the winner of the nog/mir fight and honestly i think he could maybe beat brock maybe beat mir ,but i would bet anything that he couldnt beat nog in a 5 round title fight no fucking way .so before he even starts thinking about fedor ,he should be worrying about nogueira.

He barely ever talks about nogueira and seems like he doesnt respect nogueira as much as he should. After all nogueira is legitametly # 2 in the heavy weight division where as its questionable to even have randy (16-8-0)in ur top 20 heavy weight rankings . Sure hes coming off 2 wins to an injured tim sylvia who had back surgery right after the randy fight ,and gabe gonzaga who got his nose broken in the first 2 minutes (by an illegal headbutt)and still put up another 2 rounds of competetive action til he gassed from not being able to breathe properly and gonzaga wasnt even rocked when they stopped the fight, he was just gassed and his shattered nose was clearly bugging him through the fight i think gonzaga wouldve kod randy had randy not broken his nose illegaly .
Friendo- September 4, 2008 at 4:45 am
What kind of horses ass is the writer of this article? Its at least as much the UFC's fault this fedor V Randy fight isn't happening as it is Fedors managment. What is wrong with you idiots who think all fighters should be happy with signing everything away in order to fight in the UFC? The UFC's terms are restrictive and will lead to a MMA world that is less competitive and less interesting for the fans. Too bad Randy had to go back to the UFC. I hope he beats Lesnar and is free to walk from the UFC and its shady practices. Maybe we could see the Fedor V Randy fight in mid 09.
SickKid- September 4, 2008 at 3:35 am
DUDE.....i HAVE cancer!
KneeToTheFace- September 4, 2008 at 3:05 am
The end got me thinking.
Damian- September 4, 2008 at 3:00 am
Just a long shot here but maybe we can appeal to everyones soft sides by bribing a child with cancer to enroll in make a wish and say he wants to see fedor fight randy before he slowly withers away......Like I said, Its a long shot...
mikey- September 4, 2008 at 12:41 am
Agreed, there is so much money in Asia and Europe for Fedor that it would be foolish to be locked up in an American organization. Every fighter would love to have Fedor's deal. Randy tried to get away, but he signed a restrictive contract with the UFC.
the glza- September 4, 2008 at 12:21 am
i feel dex is right: M-1 is gonna make fedor into mma's tyson.
axhed- September 3, 2008 at 10:35 pm
fedor and m-1 are doing big things in russia with sambo and mma. all the money in the world won't pull fedor away from that, and i don't know why it's so hard for americans to understand.
Dex- September 3, 2008 at 10:30 pm
M1 makes Don King look like the most flexible, non-fighter abusing promoter in history. M1 and all those cronies around Fedor make me sick. I just think that he's in the old Russian mind set of letting big brother take care of his every need. I wish Fedor would work with someone that had HIS best intrests in mind and not how much money THEY can make OFF Fedor.

So many possibilites of great fights slipping away with time because of some greedy ass power hungry management.