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Tag: Dana White

Deathwatch: M-1 Global

(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.

Earlier: Aleksander Emelianenko to Headline Next Month’s M-1 Challenge?
Way earlier: “Like all children, I was afraid of darkness.”


More UFC 82 Notes: Arlovski Snubbed, Fitch Earns Title Shot


— Further support for the “Andrei Arlovski is leaving the UFC” theory: Though he got a rapturous response from the crowd on Saturday, Andrei Arlovski wasn’t given the honor of a post-victory interview with Joe Rogan, like Jorge Gurgel, Diego Sanchez, and Josh Koscheck were granted in earlier undercard fights. As soon as he chalked up his win, a commercial for Harley-Davidson filled the jumbotrons. Nothing to see here, folks. Luigi Fioravanti was similarly snubbed after his win over Luke Cummo, but I just figured it was because nobody cared to hear him. Anyway, all appearances of civility are out the window.

— Speaking of the Pitbull, one of his current sponsors is do-it-yourself online print shop CafePress. So that’s another thing we have in common.

— In the press conference after UFC 82, Dana White said that Jon Fitch would be next in line for a title shot after “this whole Matt Serra and Georges St. Pierre thing gets figured out.” White implied that Fitch could have sat out and waited for his title shot, but instead he stepped up and took the fight with Wilson. Ouch, Karo! With his win over Chris Wilson, Fitch tied Royce Gracie’s ’93-’94 streak of eight-consecutive victories in the Octagon, which hadn’t been matched since.

— Also during that press conference, Dana White revealed that he recently made Randy Couture another offer to fight Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. “We’re waiting to hear back from him,” White said.


UFC Originally Had Gators – Seriously

(The future centerpieces of the UFC.)

I don’t make a habit of reading askmen.com unless I’m researching how to properly organize my closet or how taking a cooking class can make me a better lover – my closet has never looked better by the way – but MMA News is directing attention to askmen’s article, 5 Things You Didn’t Know: The UFC. The piece digs up some absurd stuff we knew and some we didn’t about the organization. Case in point:

1- It was supposed to involve alligators
If nothing else, you can’t successfully accuse the original promoters of the UFC of failing to think big. Specifically, in addition to such outrageous ideas as putting electric fences around the ring, one of their many schemes was to include live alligators thrashing around in moats. Fortunately, UFC doctors were a bit more practical in their thinking, advising against such plans because of the potential harm these could do to the fighters.

Was Bob Meyrowitz behind the curtain on this one? It doesn’t give an exact date as to when the gators were to make their appearance, but I’m guessing YAMMA’s showman had crocs and gators as an idea for a new “surface”.

Point number two details John McCain’s flip-flop on his stance concerning MMA, specifically the UFC. That we are well aware of – as we are of point number five, which is that Dana White kept Tito in the UFC in 2006 by offering to go three rounds with him – a ploy that likely won’t work this time around.


EliteXC Close to Network TV Deal?

(Will Kimbo kick ass after “Without a Trace”?)

MMA Junkie is reporting that ProElite – the parent company of EliteXC – is set to announce a partnership with CBS to air their events. An agreement has apparently been approved between both parties.

The EliteXC airs on Showtime under EliteXC and ShowXC. As we already stated, EliteXC and Kimbo has had at least something to do with Showtime’s recent spike in subscribers. Showtime is cheaper than dishing out for UFC pay-per-view events every month and you get to see tasteful adults films late at night as a bonus. This rumor is easy to buy into because CBS owns Showtime and has certainly recognized the channel’s cross-over potential to network television – “Dexter” airing on CBS being a recent example. EliteXC: “Street Certified” pulled in a sold-out crowd and pulled in over 500,000 viewers to Showtime. Sure, Kimbo was a major part of that, but other EliteXC shows will reap residuals from him being in their fold. Network execs know that larger-than-life sports personalities draw ratings, so naturally they’d want to be in the Kimbo business.

And with Dana White ruining every chance of getting the UFC on network television – CBS was once the frontrunner to air UFC events – networks have started seeking other organizations to sign up. CBS and EliteXC is by far the marriage with the least hoops to jump through, so we could get this announcement very soon. The events would be broadcast live in prime-time and probably every month.

This could be a very large step and do for MMA what network TV has done for Arena Football…okay, bad example, but you get what I’m saying about the exposure. And I know I probably don’t even have to mention it, but “What Would Kimbo Do?” would be natural fit for CBS’s Saturday morning kid’s programming. Story line ideas now being accepted.


Mark Coleman Confirmed for UFC Hall-of-Fame

(The foot of a champion.)

Though reports about Mark Coleman’s induction into the UFC’s Hall of Fame have been swirling for a month, the UFC officially confirmed it today — Coleman will get the honor at UFC 82, which takes place in his hometown of Columbus, OH. Coleman’s career highlights include winning the UFC’s first heavyweight title and stepping on Wanderlei Silva’s head during a melee after his fight with Mauricio Rua at PRIDE 31.

As for the next fighter to follow Coleman into the UFC’s Hall of Fame, Dana White was quoted in an ESPN.com article as saying that Tank Abbott “absolutely will be in our Hall of Fame” when he officially retires. White also called Tank’s fight with Kimbo Slice “a farce.” Man, does he love that word or what! Unrelated but awesome Tank Abbott quote from the ESPN article: “I was in really great shape. Don’t judge a book by looking at the cover. Just because I got blubber on me, that’s genetics basically, thanks to my mother.”


Cro Cop Makes Another Non-Announcement

(My shorts rock the party!)

Rumors have been swirling about Mirko Cro Cop Filipovic’s retirement/leaving the UFC/switching organizations for the past week or so. He currently makes $350k per fight, plus bonuses and was signed to the contract when many thought he would dominate his division. After losing 2 of 3 fights and having no appeal for the UFC, Dana White has asked Cro Cop to sign a somewhat less-lucrative contract – the option being to re-sign or to sit out the remainder of the contract.

Has Cro Cop made a decision? Here’s yesterday’s non-announcement from his personal blog:

“I promised to share some news with you today and I feel bad by not doing so. There are some reasons for this that I can’t speak of at the moment. However, I promise to make the statement as soon as possible. Thank you for supporting me and I hope that little more patience is not too much to ask.”

And then today, he followed that up with a prelude to an announcement:

“I’m off to Tokyo! A big announcement will come straight from Japan tomorrow (February 13). When the official part is done I’ll be able to provide more information about everything, and believe me, I have many things to say. What you could easily guess by now is that I won’t be retiring. I’ll keep on fighting, it’s my life, it’s what I do.”

So he promised an announcement tomorrow (the 13th). And you’ve got to love the classic Dana in this one. He’s more than willing to let – actually make – Cro Cop sit out the remainder of his contract, and is equally as willing to dump millions on a lawsuit against Randy Couture for wanting to do the same thing.


Fedor’s New Pen Pal: Dana White

(Fedor feeding the geese, or catching them for his supper? You be the judge.)

We’ve heard from Randy Couture about all the shit surrounding the attempt to make the Fedor/Randy fight happen and the subsequent lawsuit spin-offs. And we’ve heard from Dana White almost daily defending his ridiculous position. Now we’re hearing from Fedor Emelianenko himself about the fight and Lex Luthor’s repeated public bashings of him. In an open letter to Dana White that was posted on m1mixfight.com, the site of Fedor’s management team, the Russian superstar let it all out.

As posted on MMA Junkie:

As Emelianenko wrote (keep in mind it’s been translated by a third party):

Numerous times have I read mister White’s statements on Internet concerning myself. In my opinion, allowing yourself to say those things is not a sign of a gentleman or a grown man at all! If he candidly wants to prove himself right then let my fight with Randy happen or let me face the reigning UFC champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. In the future I wouldn’t want to hear those statements in my address ever again and I won’t tolerate that.

My last fight in Japan proved that I’m ready to fight anybody with any height advantage, skillset or experience. I have fought and still wish to fight the best athletes. The Randy fight is my goal number one right now, he’s a great fighter and this is a very unfortunate situation when too strict and one-sided UFC contracts don’t let this fight happen.

The whole world is eager to see me fight your champions, people don’t want to listen to your press-conferences. I’m signed with M-1 Global and this promotion is ready to organize such fights under our banner or in co-promoted events.

Fedor wants to fight the best. For those out there who thinks he only takes mediocre fights, he wants to shut them up. But he didn’t sign with the UFC because of the restrictive contracts and Dana White’s business tactics. We all know Dana’s style. If you don’t want to play by his sometimes-absurd rules, he’ll make it his life’s work to kick shit on your name. And he’s tried to do that with Fedor and now Randy.

Yet again, M-1 is ready to make this happen. Fedor has penned a letter begging for it. Randy is willing to be sued in order to hold out for it. Dana, you blow.


UFC to Create Official Rankings?

It’s taken complaints from fighters and bitching from fans, but it appears Dana White and the UFC might actually put out their own official fighter rankings. The Sun printed a fan Q&A with the bald baron of fight and while not confirming anything, which always seems to be the case, White hinted that it could be on the horizon – although not too soon.

Numerous media organizations – CagePotato included – have produced rankings of all the fighters and other MMA outfits rank their own fighters. The UFC has refused to rank their fighters, which would at least give us an idea of who might get a title shot soon or how far away a fighter is in getting a shot. Here’s how the questioning transpired:

Will the UFC ever set up a ranking system in each of the weight divisions so people know which fighters are in line for a title shot? For example, fighters could score points for winning fights and lose points for any defeats they incur. – Dean Hayward, Leicester

White: “Actually, Dean, I said we’d never do that because I figured people would say our rankings are biased. But, when you look around at some of these other rankings that are out there I think we probably will do our own after all. I have no idea when we will get to that, though. I wouldn’t look for any rankings anytime real soon.”

When White was asked to pick who he thinks will be on top in each weight division in January of 2009, he deflected the question and only hinted that he thought Anderson Silva might be there. Although he thinks Dan Henderson could take Silva down in March.


TV Deals To Give MMA Wider Exposure

(“Ma, the telly has men fighting and bleeding on it!”)

Not much going on today, but we do have some MMA on TV news for you. Over at 15 Rounds, Dana White has said some interesting things about the rumored network TV deal with the UFC.

The long awaited debut for the Ultimate Fighting Championship on a major network may not be very far off. Ongoing conversations are heating up. UFC President Dana White expects major progress in the next few days.

“I am going out of town tomorrow for a week. Hopefully, I’ll come back with good news,” White said.

And here we go again. Just when you think Dana has blown every chance to sign with a network, this pops up. Rumors have been swirling about what network would agree to air UFC events and this just adds to the intrigue.

The other TV deal involves the IFL. 5oz of Pain has the lowdown:

The International Fight League’s next two cards on February 29 in Las Vegas and April 4 in East Rutherford, NJ will be televised on HDNet and on Fox Sports Canada.

The 29th event will feature battles such as Ryan “The Lion” Schultz vs. John Gunderson, Matt Horwich vs. Ryan McGivern, and Fabiano Scherner vs. Roy Nelson. The April 4th show is not set just yet.


Weekend MMA News Cruise

(Is Cro Cop leaving the UFC?)

Here’s what else was happening in the world while your thoughts were being dominated by Brock Lesnar:

Gary Herman of 15 Rounds reports that Brandon Vera will be returning to the Octagon in June against a yet-unnamed opponent, and Dana White has given Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic a deadline of today to decide whether he wants to remain in the UFC; Filipovic’s last fight was a decision loss to Cheick Kongo at UFC 75 in September 2007.

— Josh Barnett announced on his MySpace blog that his next fight will be against Hidehiko Yoshida at World Victory Road’s Sengoku event on March 5th in Tokyo. Barnett hasn’t competed in a professional MMA bout since his unanimous decision loss to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at PRIDE Shockwave on New Year’s Eve 2006. Yoshida is a former Olympic gold medalist in judo who has a 7-5-1 MMA record, with notable wins over Don Frye, Mark Hunt, and David “Tank” Abbott. According to Barnett, M-1 never offered him a fight with Aleksander Emelianenko, and the rumored Roger Gracie/Yoshida matchup is total rubbish.

— Because of a military commitment, Tim Kennedy has been forced to drop out of the IFL’s season opener at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas on February 29th. Though he was scheduled to face middleweight champion Matt Horwich for the 185-pound belt, a new press release has announced that Kennedy has been “called to service,” and that Ryan McGivern will be taking his place. A member of Pat Miletich’s Silverbacks team, McGivern has a professional record of 11-5, and previously defeated Horwich by unanimous decision at the IFL Championship Final on 12/29/06.

In a post-UFC 81 interview with Mr. Sunshine, Dana White referred to Hong Man Choi as “Long Duk Dong.” Funny or offensive, depending on your perspective.