So what’s up with Fedor lately, you ask? Well it depends on who you ask. If you ask M-1 Global, he plans to fight in Russia or Japan in December and sit out Strikeforce until Werdum can be the last fight on his contract. But when you talk to M-1 Global, he’s dead set on fighting Alistair Overeem in the US! Wait, what’s going on! Double statements all the way! What does it mean???
Here’s the first set of plans direct from the Finklestein’s mouth last week:
“We plan to organize an interim fight for Fedor. We are considering two options: Japan and Russia. We have a lucrative offer from the Japanese partners, who are interested in Fedor fighting on the New Year’s Eve. This is the most interesting option for us. But we are also not excluding an option that Fedor Emelianenko will fight in Russia, sometime in December,” he said.
“We have to organize another fight for Fedor, as Fabricio Werdum is currently injured and no one knows when he will come back. Strikeforce have absolutely nothing against the rematch, that’s exactly why we are planning the last fight on Fedor’s contract to be against Werdum.”
Sounds pretty damn specific, doesn’t it? Now here’s the press release fresh off M-1global.com:
Fedor “The Last Emperor” Emelianenko has made it clear that he would like to fight the current Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair “Demolition Man” Overeem as his next opponent later this year.
“This is an important match for me and something that I personally want to happen,” says Fedor. “There have been conversations about putting this match-up together in the past and now is the time to begin making this bout possible.”
Conversations have been taking place behind closed doors between M-1 Global and Strikeforce for some time and injuries, timing and differences of opinion have been roadblocks to putting Overeem and Emelianenko together. “M-1 Global wants to make this fight happen,” says M-1’s Director of Operations, Evgeni Kogan. “As a global mixed martial arts company committed to driving the evolution of the sport and showcasing match-ups that the fans deserve to see, we want to make this bout a reality in 2010.”
The roadblocks that once previously were preventing one of the most highly anticipated bouts this year seem to be disappearing.
They can’t be disappearing too fast … Josh Gross is already reporting that the camps are bickering over Olympic style drug testing (thanks, Floyd), and there’s also the extra mammoth complication that this is Fedor’s last fight on his Strikeforce contract. His free agency spiels are always more fun than a few months of Brett Favre retirement talk, so look forward to that.
Regardless, one thing is for sure: Fedor’s people are angling to get him into a fight by the end of the year. Where it ends up and against who are details I’m sure we’ll only find out about after months of torturous negotiation and non-stop bullshit. Fingers crossed we get a real fight out of it and not another Zuluzinho or Choi style joke.