A couple of industrious fans on the Sherdog forums took a video interview with M-1 president Vadim Finkelstein and translated it into English for us. There’s some interesting stuff in there like the fact that M-1 will have five fighters from their M-1 Selection shows fighting on the Fedor / Werdum undercard (I’m assuming prelim portion because the televised bits already seem booked up … and Fedor sat out the CBS card over this???). Also, Vadim complains about how M-1 gets such a bad rap and everyone always ignores them when they refute propaganda from the UFC and elsewhere:
Q.: Is re-opening negotiations with the UFC possible after Fedor’s 3rd Strikeforce fight?
A.: Yes, it`s possible. You know, the press likes to tell fairy tales such as “crazy russians”, and that Fedor`s manager were offered a 30 million contract but they didn’t want to sign it, and so on. I`ve tried to answer Dana White`s and others words, but nobody has posted my answers, but nonsense that comes from Dana White or Bas Boon (Overeem’s manager) is posted with such love. And there`s some anti-Russian sentiment. Why – I cannot understand. If Dana White really wanted Fedor competing in the UFC, he would already be in the UFC. He doesn’t really want to. He just makes it visible that he wants Fedor.
Fedor and M-1 are two different things. Fedor does not compete for M-1. M-1 is just trying to organize fights for Fedor with other good fighters. And if these fights will be on UFC’s territory, no problem.
Fedor has his own company like Oscar De La Hoya has Golden Boy Promotions. This company was made around Fedor. And our current goal is to create new breed of young fighters, and not to compete with Strikeforce or UFC. We need those companies solely as an apparatus to use them for our fighters to grow and appear on big TV channels, so that viewers recognize them.
So don’t make us into monsters, as if we are against certain fights. We REALLY want a fight with Lesnar. We are wishing for it so bad. Fedor wants this fight. But it does not depend on us, or that we are twisting UFC’s arm and are demanding a co-promotion. We are ready to agree to other terms, but nobody offers them. They are just making us to be some donkeys, crazy Russians, that we are trying to steal their business.
If we are trying make an offer that gives benefits for both sides – we are crazy!
I tried to answer Dana White’s comments many times, about him saying that we demanded to build an academy or other crazy things. I tried to send them all over, Sherdog, and other sites, but nobody would publish them. I understand them. They receive funding from that big monster UFC.
Now come on … the only thing the UFC supplies Sherdog with is large amounts of hate and letters telling them they’re banned from UFC events. Plus Sherdog is pretty good at covering M-1’s counterclaims, most recently passing along M-1’s assertion that Fedor never turned down a fight with Alistair Overeem. But that whole situation is pretty fishy in general. If Fedor and the gang are so eager to fight Overeem, then why does Scott Coker have to dance around confirming the fact that the two will fight if Fedor beats Werdum?
Vadim also talks about being willing to agree to ‘other terms’ than just co-promotion. Well, that may be true now since they realize now how balls co-promotion can be, but it’s still pretty obvious that those demands are what led to Fedor to Strikeforce during negotiations.
At every step of every contract negotiation and fight booking, M-1 has positioned itself as an extremely picky and difficult to work with gatekeeper. While some of the tales that are told about them are indeed complete fabricated bullshit, it doesn’t erase the overall impression people have of them that they’ve rightly earned over the past few years: as crazy Russians keeping Fedor from fighting the biggest fights.