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What Does Co-Promoting With the UFC Mean to Fedor Emelianenko's Management?

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Jerrymillenpride_mediumSome serious insights into an alien world-view from this Fanhouse interview with Jerry Millen of M-1:

Going back to co-promotion, so you're saying co-promotion for M-1 means a 50/50 investment between the two parties?

Yeah, yeah. You sit down with the hard numbers. What's the fight purses? What's the venue? What's the advertising budget? Travel, food, throw it all in a pot, split it down the middle, and at the end of the event if the ink is black and there's a profit, split the profit, and if the ink is red, then just split the loss.

How has other miscellaneous topics that have been reportedly been an issue in the past, such as Sambo, the inclusion of other Red Devil (Fedor's camp) fighters, the amount of M-1 branding, played into negotiations?


You know all of that stuff is negotiable. If the UFC would have sat down, and conducted as a true co-promotion and say "ok we'll do half M-1 fighters, and half UFC fighters," all that can be worked out. At the end of the day it's about the main event card. That's what they want: Brock vs. Fedor. Everything else can be worked out as long as they're willing to work with us. That's all. And at the end of the day if you're really a fan of the sport - not a fan of the UFC - You got to step back and see what is best for the sport. Fedor sell his soul to the UFC for an X amount of dollars? Or break their model? I know they have a business model but to me they're the WWE of MMA.

Beau Dure has more from Millen and Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker:

"The next level for us is an M-1 Global show, co-promoted with 'question mark,' with Fedor in that promotion," says M-1 USA vice president Jerry Millen. "Fedor owns part of M-1 Global. Fedor wants what's best for the company, best for him and best for MMA. ... We co-promoted with (Affliction) to an extent. We're looking for a true co-promotion."

"(M-1 says) we want to be partners with equal branding," says Scott Coker, whose Strikeforce organization is one of several bidding for Fedor's services. "I don't blame them for feeling that way."

I'm becoming more and more convinced that this isn't really about M-1 wanting to co-promote with the UFC as it is M-1 wanting to prevent a deal being done. The ever-escalating definition of co-promotion is a classic case of moving the goal posts.

I have more thoughts on why M-1 is doing this, but here's a final quote from Millen's fanhouse interview that gives some insight as to how things appear inside the M-1 bubble:

I think wherever Fedor fights, it's gonna be whatever's best for the sport of MMA. At the end of the day those fans [that are complaining now] are going to say "Fedor made the right choice," because he did what was best for the sport and what was best for MMA.