After revealing exclusively to LowKick.com about the plans of arranging an intermediate bout for Fedor Emelianenko, M-1 Global boss Vadim Finkelstein stated to the Russian website Championat.ru that Fedor might fight again on the New Year’s Eve in Japan or Russia. Fabricio Werdum will be sidelined from training after undergoing surgery on his elbow, forcing M-1 Global and Fedor Emelianenko to search for an “anti ring rust” solution.
Here’s the best bits from Vadim Finkelstein interview to Championat.Ru’s Konstantin Ustjantzev:
– So we can say that Fedor will begin preparations for his next fight withing the next days?
No, now he’s currently doing only light training. There’s currently no sense in working full force. He will travel to China during the next week with the Russian Sambo delegation, trying to convince the Olympic Commitee to include Sambo in the Olympic Games. The flight to China is pretty tough, so he’s currently not overloading himself in training.
– As we all know, Fabricio Werdum is out for a long time due to an elbow injury. Can you reveal who will be Fedor’s next opponent, and if it will be a co-promotional bout with Strikeforce?
We plan to organize an interim fight for Fedor. We are considering two options: Japan and Russia. We have a lucrative offer from the Japanese partners, who are interested in Fedor fighting on the New Year’s Eve. This is the most interesting option for us. But we are also not exluding an option that Fedor Emelianenko will fight in Russia, sometime in December. We have to organize another fight for Fedor, as Fabricio Werdum is currently injured and no one knows when he will come back. Strikeforce have absolutely nothing against the rematch, that’s exactly why we are planning the last fight on Fedor’s contract to be against Werdum.
– What about the extension of the contract with Strikeforce, and what factors may influence the future relations with this organization?
I would like not to get ahead too much, but the chances to extend the contract with Strikeforce are quite high. At least now, we have resolved all the disputes between us and reached the state of normal co-operation. Another thing is what kind of terms they will offer us after Fedor’s last fight. Television plays a major role in this issue. If Showtime will make us an offer we can’t refuse, then we’ll extend the contract and will continue our co-operation.
– Are there any alternatives other than Strikeforce?
There are some proposals. But I’ll say it again, we are ready to organize co-promotion with any organization that is ready to meet our demands. We have repeatedly expressed our desire to organize a joint show, even with the same UFC, but all in vain. We are ready to fight with the strongest and to co-operate with the worthy.
– Can you name three fighters who are most interesting as opponents for Fedor?
Of course, this is Brock Lesnar. But this fight will never happen. UFC President Dana White will always delay the fight between Fedor and Lesnar, finding more and more excuses. They offered us a one-sided contract, under which all rights for Fedor will belong to the UFC. Of course, this turn of events did not suit us, so we tried to compromise by offering to organize a joint show. And you know how it ended. Now this fight can be only dream. Randy Couture is also a very interesting opponent – he’s a living legend of MMA, as well as Josh Barnett. Well, of course, fight with Werdum, who, unlike all the above, will be required.
Vadim Finkelstein’s plans leave only a few options for Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker, who recently suggested that Fedor Emelianenko might square off against the Big Foot Antonio Silva. While the bout against Antonio Silva sees somehow unlikely for the New Year’s Eve in Japan (not speaking about Russia), the fight against Alistair Overeem could be easily one of the biggest highlights of the recent time in MMA. Another option is the long anticipated bout against Josh Barnett, who also enjoys a huge popularity in the Japanese Mixed Martial Arts scene.
This way or another, organizing a fight for Fedor in Japan looks like a smart move from M-1 Global. Both Josh Barnett and Alistair Overeem are a much bigger draws in Japan than in the United States, which can provide the desired springboard for M-1 and Dream.
It will be exactly one year since Alistair Overeem called out Fedor Emelianenko at Dynamite!! 2009, and three years since Fedor’s last appearance on the Japanese New Year’s Eve card, where he defeated the giant Hong-Man Choi. Fedor Emelianenko appeared five consecutive times times on Pride FC’s New Year events against Yuji Nagata (2003), Minotauro Nogueira (2004), Zuluzinho (2005), Mark Hunt (2006) and the “Techno Goliath” HMC (2007).