For the first time since Dana White’s announcement of the deal between ZUFFA and Strikeforce, M-1 Global CEO Vadim Finkelstein gave his reaction on the surprising turn of events. In an interview to, disappointed Finkelstein revealed that the deal was done behind M-1’s back, but still promised “business as usual” for M-1 Global:

Date: 17.3.2011

All I can say is that everybody handles their business in their own way. This deal was a total surprise to me, since it was done behind our back. I didn’t know anything about the course of any negotiation [between ZUFFA and Strikeforce].

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Nevertheless, it wouldn’t have any sort of effect on M-1 as a company, and on Fedor Emelianenko as a fighter. We will continue to operate in the same way we did before.

– Did you speak to Scott Coker about the issue? What did he tell you?

No, I didn’t speak to Scott Coker about it. And to tell you the truth, I don’t think the topic will surface up when we meet. If he ever wanted to discuss this deal, he would tell me about it a while ago, at its early stage.

– Is there a new possibility of co-promoting with the UFC?
It’s not something that is up to us.  If the UFC would like to work with us, we are ready to consider their offer. I said not once that we are interested in working with this company, so we’ll see.

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Finkelstein also related to the positive aspect of the deal. M-1 boss stated that he believes fans will get to see new exciting match-ups, something that was impossible with Strikeforce and the UFC as completely separate companies.

As for Fedor Emelianenko, according to recent reports “The Last Emperor” will fight sometime this summer, against a yet unknown opponent. It will be Fedor’s fourth fight as part of the co-promotional deal between Strikeforce, Showtime and M-1 Global.

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Last Saturday M-1 Global celebrated their first event on Showtime, which was labelled by company’s representatives, fans and critics alike as “successful”. The next M-1 show will take place on 28 April, at The Ice Palace in St.Petersburg, Russia. The event will be headlined by M-1 Challenge Welterweight bout between Shamil Zaruv and the reigning Champion Rashid Magomedov. M-1 Challenge Light Heavyweight Title fight between Vinny Magalhaes and Viktor Nemkov will serve as a co-headliner.