1. Why is he worried about the next round when Bigfoot is a guy who has already been caught cheating?
Over the past few weeks there has been quite a bit of stir about Fedor and M-1 wanting PED testing for the semi-finals. I have read quite a few of the arguments on this subject and thought it might be time to bring some clarity. Let's take them one by one.
The answer here is pretty simple. Bigfoot will be tested under one of the strictest athletic commissions in the United States. That's at the crux of this whole thing. It seems that due to Barnett's involvement in the tournament, and his licensing issues, Strikeforce is going to go to pretty extensive efforts to go where there is no testing or to states with lax athletic commissions. It has already begun with Strikeforce looking to put their April 9th show on in Japan, a move that boggles my mind. Coker has talked about bringing the tournament to Canada or maybe even Brazil. I think it is crazy they are going that route, Strikeforce should be focused on the US market, but that is for another discussion. The fact of the matter is the NJ show might be the only one that is held in a venue that has an athletic commission that does testing.
2. This is just a ploy so M-1 can renegotiate.
Let's look at this situation in the present tense. Yes, M-1 has driven us all mad in the past. Obviously, their last contract with Strikeforce was not strict enough. But, this contract is not with Strikeforce. It is with Showtime, it took about four months to negotiate. Showtime is not going make the same mistakes. They are pouring a lot of money into this. I have never seen network commercials for a Strikeforce event on SHO. They are not doing this without having M-1 in a position with zero wiggle room.
3. Why is he picking on Overeem when guys like Barnett are in the tournament?
First, I don't recall Fedor ever saying anything about Overeem in the past till the Helwani interview. You have to look at that quote in context. He didn't bring Overeem up out of the blue. He was asked about him and the question came on the heels of a discussion on testing for the tournament. He said what many of us wonder. Did Reem get to be Ubereem naturally? But, he followed that with he doesn't care as long as he is tested like everyone else. Second, if you look at Vadim's recent comments they are mostly targeted at Barnett, who cost him a ton of money. Look at this quote, does he even mention Alistair?
"The only thing I said and will say, Fedor - is clean. He trains in the mountains, to improve endurance, and from the eight fighters, they have already caught two for doping - Josh Barnett and Antonio Silva. And surely someone else uses it, while they insist that it is all the same, to have equal strength."
Sure, he made that steroid bully comment that was out of line last year, but he also followed it up later by saying if he is tested like everyone else it doesn't matter. Remember M-1, whether we like it or not, is co-promoting this event. They have a say and a stake in this and benefit by it coming off as not only a successful event but a legitimate one as well.
4. What about Kirill?
This really has nothing to do with this tournament. I'm sure there are plenty of M-1 fighters that may be using PED's. It's a part of the culture of all sports. M-1 is not on a mission to clean up the sport, they just want a clean tournament for their biggest asset to participate in.
Fans have different opinions about Fedor and can be passionate on both sides of the spectrum. But, I don't think he or his company is being unreasonable here, especially since Strikeforce is going to great lengths to stay away from commissions in Barnett's bracket.