(Video courtesy of RuTube/IronWorld)
During a recent interview with the Russian sports news website MixFight.ru, M-1 Global president and the manager of Fedor Emelianenko, Vadim Finkelstein spoke a bit more about his thoughts on the recent acquisition of Strikeforce by Forza LLC, an offshoot of the UFC’s parent company Zuffa LLC. According to the man often referred to by Dana White as one of the “crazy Russian,” he is one of a growing number of people who aren’t buying the UFC president’s claims that in spite of the purchase, things will be business as usual for both promotions.
“The news of the acquisition of Strikeforce by Zuffa caught me so off guard that I initially did not believe it when I got the call from our partners telling us about it, but the next day the deal was reported on both of their official websites. What are my impressions? First of all, I do not believe that Strikeforce will somehow maintains its independence from the UFC and the organizations will continue to work as they did before. I do not believe that they will fight for the fighters’ best interests. I think that the fate of Strikeforce is quite predictable and will be a repeat the fate of other organizations that the UFC purchased.”
As far as how the deal will affect M-1′s future dealings with Showtime, Finkelstein says like the fate of Strikeforce that too is up in the air.
“I don’t know what our relationships with other organizations, in particular with Strikeforce and Showtime and our partners will be like moving forward as we have no clear idea of ??how events will unfold. Anyway, I think that all of the agreements will be fulfilled and that they will still broadcast all of our events on Showtime, as was stipulated in our contract conditions. What the future holds is anyone’s guess.”
Finkelstein says he’s taking a wait and see approach as there are really no other options at this point. As such, he is focusing on putting together M-1′s 2011 events and making sure that “The Last Emperor” is training with the best coaches and training partners available.
He spoke at length about Fedor’s recent trip to Holland and said that it’s a trip the fighter, who is rumored to be facing Strikeforce light heavyweight champ Dan Henderson this summer, is planning on making a few more times this year.
“In my opinion, his time there was very productive. While he was there, Fedor did not work on endurance and improve on his own skills. The task was to learn something new and to work with a variety of heavy sparring partners, travel around to different clubs, learn new techniques and in my opinion, it was a successful trip. I myself attended several training sessions. Of course, the [young fighters we brought with us from Russia] gave one hundred percent. Even when the workouts ended, they continued to perfect their techniques. Training was in the morning and evening. Usually in the morning they worked on striking and then after dinner they would spar.”
While in Holland, Fedor worked with some of MMA and kickboxing’s heavy hitters.
“Fedor basically trained with Gegard Mousasi, Tyrone Spong, Johan Voss and Peter Aerts. Ernesto Hoost spent a couple of days devoted just to working on technique, which in my opinion was very useful. I think Fedor will go home for a month and then go back to Holland. I wish that someone from our coaching staff went too like Vladimir Voronov or Aleksander Michkov. You always have to learn and develop. I think that trip would be useful to our [Red Devil Fighting Team] coaches as we do not have as strong of schools in Russia as the Netherlands with respect to striking disciplines such as Thai boxing, which greatly helps in MMA. It’s very useful to learn something new and take the best training methods from other coaches.”
Hopefully the change of scenery and the addition of new training partners provide the spark Fedor needs to get his career back on track after his last two fights.