The MMA world has been buzzing since news broke on Bloody Elbow about Fedor Emelianenko's return to active competition. While many organizations seem to be interested in signing the former PRIDE kingpin, nothing has been made final just yet.
Vadim Finkelschtein appeared on Submission Radio and he gave an update on Fedor's situation, and debunked some old rumors and talking points that were no longer relevant today. According to him, M-1 is no longer interested in co-promotion and negotiations are all about Fedor's money.
"When it comes to M-1 we are not really interested in any kind of co-promotion," Vadim said through a translator. "M-1 is a self-contained, European promotion which has no less than 12 shows a year, and this number is about to grow every year."
"It’s complicated to make a co-promotion. It’s a hard thing. It’s about money, and when it comes to Fedor, it's only his choice. He has a very wide choice of MMA organizations in the world, and who will make a better offer to him will get Fedor."
"I don’t think that a co-promotion with Bellator is possible. The other time when we co-promoted with Strikeforce [it was] because Fedor had a contract with M-1. Now it’s a different story. And, well to repeat what I said before, I want to say that M-1 don’t really need any co-promotion."
In the past, word is that Fedor was off put with Dana White's comments about him, and it was among the reasons he stayed outside the Octagon. Vadim says though, that none of that will matter especially during today's negotiations.
"Well I don’t think that story can influence somehow Fedor’s decision to choose UFC or any other MMA promotion. If they will make a good offer to him that will be good for himself, then he can accept this. Also Bellator can make a better offer. So I don’t think that situation can influence it somehow."
"Dana talked a lot. [He] talked a lot about Fedor, about Vadim, and he talked bad. But Fedor understands that it all was just PR. He’s not in a bad relations with Dana and he doesn’t feel anything bad about him."
Vadim was also asked about the chances of the UFC to finally sign Fedor, and whether the Reebok deal and potential loss of sponsors would affect his decision.
"I’m not sure, but I don’t think it’s going to be a big problem because I think Rebook is interested in Fedor as well as the UFC, and I think if they really want this they will find some ways."
"I think UFC have a big chance to sign Fedor. It depends on what offer they will make. If Dana would not only talk, but do some things [and] will make a good offer to Fedor, they have a big chance then."
"Fedor never actually never left MMA, he just didn’t fight," he said. "He was always involved. He saw the level of the fighters, he saw the level of the champions, and well he was involved. He didn’t miss anything. He has trained constantly and been self-active."
"He never stopped training. He always gave master-classes, always had sparring, and so on. So his physical form is very good now. He didn't lose anything. All he needs now is some time to get ready to get prepared, because I see fire in his eyes. He is ready mentally to fight. All he needs is to take some training and he will be able to beat any fighters and the strongest fighters in the world."