(Photo taken last night, courtesy of MMA Rated.)
MMAPayout.com has learned that Couture and Emelianenko, along with their respective management teams, have spent a great deal of time together in Los Angeles this week. The purpose of the informal summit is not entirely clear, but one logical goal of the meetings could be the development of a collective strategy moving forward in order to insure that [their] fight takes place, sooner rather than later.
Adding intrigue to the meetings are recent statements from both parties, as well as the UFC, publicly indicating a willingness to discuss resolving their respective differences in order to have the fight take place in the Octagon, perhaps by the end of the year [Ed. note: Well, no]. Speculation within the industry pegs the pay-per-view expectations for the fight around one million buys if promoted by the UFC, which combined with what has become an expensive and protracted legal battle, give both sides ample motivation to come to an agreement.
Couture, Emelianenko, and their representatives spent “significant” time together, as they met for breakfast and dinner, [a] source said. They were also involved in a photo shoot together, reports the source. While speculation around a future fight promoted by Affliction seems certain to swirl, the source indicated the upstart promotion was not behind the aforementioned shoot.
I wouldn’t read too much into this. Couture and Emelianenko have been extremely friendly in the past, and this could just be a case of two buddies sharing a few meals, hitting the clubs, stocking up on Ed Hardy tees, and laughing about what a fairy Tim Sylvia is.