Fedor Emelianenko Is More "Free Agent" Than You Think

You can't write a soap opera this good:

Despite the announcement of an agreement last October between Fedor Emelianenko and M-1 Global, the deal was never signed, a source close to both camps told Sherdog.com.

The Russian heavyweight's only agreement with the company -- according to the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity -- came in the form of a letter of intent.

The return of a $1.5 million signing bonus paid by M-1 Global to Emelianenko is the only hurdle to the former Pride champion's potential free agency. That should be remedied this week, the source said.

M-1 Global CEO Monte Cox declined to comment.

Once Emelianenko is clear of his M-1 obligations he is expected to field offers from several MMA promotions. The early leader, according to the same source, comes from the purported partnership between Affliction and Oscar de la Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions, which Sherdog.com has learned could debut on June 28.

"Right now we don't have any comments," Golden Boy Promotions Public Relations Director Romiro Gonzalez told Sherdog.com. "[Oscar] is in the sports business. He is loading up on all the fields, especially boxing. We're moving into soccer, MLS. There is nothing official we can say."

This is pathetic to the point of satire. That M-1 and Monte Cox would go through the motions of trotting out in front of press conferences and the free world arguably the biggest fighter in the sport without a contract is beyond amateurish. I believe Dana White when he says Fedor's people are hard to deal with, which makes a lack of a contract to secure Fedor's services mind blowing.

What this means for a potential Couture vs. Fedor match is anyone's guess, but what is clear is that the idea M-1 can reasonably compete with the UFC anywhere besides Russia is absurd. Their marquee fighter has no contract and the infighting causes promotional paralysis. It's a good thing Monte Cox didn't quit his job as an agent because it's likely going to be the only job he has very soon.

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