by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
M-1 Global, LLC, a new mixed martial arts promotion under the ownership of Sibling Sports, LLC, on Monday announced that it had signed Fedor Emelianenko as the centerpiece of the organization.
Before signing with M-1 Global, Emelianenko, currently ranked No. 1 in the MMAWeekly.com world heavyweight rankings, had been largely considered the top free agent on the market.
“Our goal… with the world’s greatest fighter,” said Mitchell Maxwell, President and CEO of Sibling Holdings, the parent company of Sibling Sports, “we feel that we can take the foundation of mixed martial arts that has been established by companies such as the UFC and Pride and K-1 and ProElite … and sprint into the gun lap and take mixed martial arts to a place where it is appreciated and seen as a sport throughout the world.
“This just wouldn’t happen without the world’s greatest fighter, Fedor.”
Less than one month ago, Dana White, president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, seemed positive that Emelianenko would end up in his organization.
“I think that Fedor, right now, the word is he wants to fight in this Sambo event, but I won’t let him fight in it if he’s with us. I think he’s going to wait until he fights in this thing in October, November, and we’ll probably come to a deal with him at the end of this year or the beginning of next year,” he said following UFC 76 on Sept. 22.
“I’m very positive we’re going to end up with him. It would be crazy for him to fight anywhere else other than the UFC.”
Emelianenko indicated that he went a different direction “because M-1 Global is not going to be a closed in company. It is going to be a global open company. I will be able to meet with different champions.”
His manager, Vadim Finkelchtein added, “We didn’t sign with the UFC because we would like to create a global organization. We don’t think that today the UFC is a global organization.”
Speaking to that point, M-1 Global’s president and CEO, Monte Cox, said, “We really want to work with all of the other organizations. A lot of people give that lip service, but we’re already talking to other organizations.”
Maxwell backed that up saying, “In Fedor’s contract with M-1 Global, we have a clause to offer the UFC champion $1,000,000 over and above what the UFC would offer their champion to fight Fedor, and $1,000,000 to the winner of that fight over the general purse for that fight.”