Report: UFC’s Negotiations with “Fedor” Hit a Snag
Posted by MMA Junkie on September 15, 2007 at 3:00 pm ET
Famed PRIDE heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko and UFC officials were painstakingly close to reaching an agreement, but a final contact that arrived at the fighter’s camp contained terms that were “absolutely different” than what had originally been negotiated, reports the the website for the M-1 organization, which is operated by Vadim Finkelstein. (Finkelstein is Emelianenko’s manager.)
The report was first discussed by Zach Arnold of FightOpinion.com.
According to Arnold:
According to the M-1 office, Finkelstein and UFC negotiated terms of a contract that would allow the PRIDE Heavyweight champion to fight in the Octagon. M-1 claims that the negotiations were a success and that the parties agreed to what the terms of the UFC contract would be. However, M-1 claims that when UFC sent the contract to their office, the terms of the deal were â€˜absolutely differentâ€™ than what had been negotiated and that management did not agree on what was stated in the contract. This is why, according to M-1, Fedor has not signed a contract with UFC.
The UFC and Emelianenkoâ€™s camp have been in negotiations for months — ever since Zuffa LLC (the UFCâ€™s parent company) purchased PRIDE back in March. Not all of the fighters’ contracts were transfered to Zuffa, though, and many of the organizationâ€™s top fighters became free agents who could negotiate and sign with other organizations.
Emelianenko, though, has been a top priority for the UFC. With a near-perfect 26-1 record, he’s posted victories over many of sportâ€™s top fighters, including Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic, Mark Coleman, Mark Hunt and Matt Lindland.
If signed, UFC President Dana White said that a showdown between current UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture and Emelianenko could take place at an as-of-yet-unannounced SuperBowl weekend card in February 2008.