It looks like Christmas is coming early for M-1 Global. The Fight Nerd caught up with M-1's Director of Operations Evgeni Kogan, who provided an update on Fedor Emelianenko's return to Strikeforce:
We are now very close to finalizing a deal extension for Fedor with Showtime and Strikeforce. Part of that deal is four M-1 Challenge events on Showtime in the U.S. So if that deal gets done, then we have four M-1 Challenge events in 2011 on Showtime in the U.S. where there will be title matches, obviously.
Since that loss, we've been renegotiating the deal. Or we're trying to get an extension done. Now that it's looking likely that the extension will get done - and we tried as hard as we possibly could to make it happen - it's realistic that Fedor will come back early next year. And then there will be a second Fedor fight in the new extension probably in the middle months next year.
Let me get this straight. Strikeforce signs Emelianenko to a three-fight deal after Josh Barnett blows up Affliction. Emelianenko dislodges Brett Rogers' head in suburban Chicago on CBS. M-1 decides they aren't happy with the contract they just signed and renegotiate with Strikeforce, thus preventing Emelianenko from a second fight on CBS against Fabricio Werdum. When Emelianenko finally meets Werdum, he taps his entire mystique away inside of a Werdum triangle. M-1 Global then insists on renegotiating (or negotiating an extension) a second time and requests that their promotional side receive four events on Showtime.
This deal, an intergalactic scoundrel once said, is getting worse all the time. Emelianenko's loss to Werdum in June should have eliminated most of the leverage M-1 Global controlled in contract negotiations. Instead, Strikeforce/Showtime, according to Kogan, are close to acquiescing to M-1 Global's demands. Amazing.
What's going to stop M-1 Global from renegotiating a third time should Emelianenko win his comeback fight? And what will they demand? Fedor's own personal space station?