M-1 Global Clarifies Fedor Emelianenko’s Contract, Open to Hendo Rematch on Showtime

August 6, 2011
Fedor Emelianenko at Strikeforce

Fedor Emelianenko after his loss against Dan Henderson


Fedor Emelianenko may no longer be fighting for Strikeforce, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the former Pride legend isn’t fighting on Showtime any longer.

M-1 Global Director of Operations Evgeni Kogan spoke to MMAWeekly.com on Friday to clarify Emelianenko’s contract situation, and even opened the door to a possible rematch with Dan Henderson down the road.

According to Kogan, Fedor was only under contract to Showtime and from there he fought under the Strikeforce banner, but was never under direct employ of Zuffa.

“Dana White announced yesterday that Fedor is no longer a Zuffa fighter. Truth is, Fedor was never under contract with Zuffa. Fedor’s contract is with Showtime. He remains a Showtime fighter, on a network which has been amazing to Fedor and the team,” Kogan stated.

Emelianenko’s fate with Strikeforce was sealed on Thursday when UFC president Dana White revealed that the promotion was releasing the Russian, and he would no longer be fighting under their umbrella.

The news came down after Emelianenko dropped his third fight in a row when he was TKO’d by Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Dan Henderson in heavyweight non-title bout in Chicago on July 30.

The back and forth fight ended with just moments remaining in the first round, and while Emelianenko and his management team at M-1 Global pay all respect to Henderson for the win, they would be all for a rematch down the road.

“Last Saturday night fans were treated to one of the most exciting and unpredictable rounds of MMA action in recent history between two legends of the sport. Congratulations to Hendo and we are open to a rematch on Showtime,” Kogan said.

Showtime currently airs fights for both Strikeforce and M-1 Global in regards to MMA, so obviously if Emelianenko has time left on his current deal with the cable network, he could still fight for a different promotion, presumably M-1 Global.

“Strikeforce is not the only MMA promotion on Showtime so there are a number of options for Fedor which will be looked at,” said Kogan.

The other factor involved in Fedor’s future is the fighter’s own willingness to return to the cage. He has long flirted with the idea of retirement, but following the fight with Henderson, Emelianenko didn’t commit one way or the other in regards to his future.

The only thing for sure right now is that Emelianenko is no longer a Strikeforce fighter, but certainly still could have a future fight that airs on Showtime.

Damon Martin is the lead staff writer and radio host for MMAWeekly.com.
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  1. I still love and respect Fedor. Regardless of his recent losses.

    But why the rematch with Henderson?

    As much as I don’t want to admit it, Fedor was out when Hendo hit him. There’s no reason for a rematch. If Fedor wants a rematch that badly he should drop down to 205. Maybe then Dan will give him a rematch. Fedor should go fight a few guys in M-1 and see how he fairs. I personally think that if he wants to salvage his career at this point, he has to win a few in a row. Fighting these Heavyweights in M-1 might be a good way for him to resurge. If he losses against guys like Kenny Garner or Guram Gugenishvili, then Fedor definitely should retire and never fight again.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing Emelianenko come back!

    Time will tell…. :p

  2. I just dont understand why he sticks with these M-1 people. They are delusional.

    • Because he is one of the M-1 people.

      Fedor used to fight with the Russian Top Team. Few of the RTT guys + Vadim proposed to Fedor that they could make him rich. Fedor is part of the partnership.

      I think you are only used to seeing promoter-fighter relationship in the UFC, which is akin to master-slave.

      M-1 and Fedor’s relationship is different. It is really partner relationship.

      About salvaging his career. Yes, I think Fedor wanted to retire after winning two or three times. That is why he picked Hendo, someone he thought he could steamroll. And boy that plan failed. Instead, he got KTFO by a 185 lber.

      I think the safer fight would have been calling out Randy. Randy doesn’t have that one punch KO power.

  3. “Dana White announced yesterday that Fedor is no longer a Zuffa fighter. Truth is Fedor was never under contract with Zuffa. Fedor’s contract is with Showtime. He remains a Showtime fighter”

    Truth is you can play semantics all you want, but unless Showtime has an entire stable of fighters for your boy to fight, it really doesnt matter because he cant fight himself. These guys are too busy trying to do anything they can to go against the grain. M-1 is garbage, they’ve never had anyone besides Fedor, and much like elite XC going down the toilet when their poster boy got KTFO, they will fall when Fedor realizes he’s washed up.

  4. This Kogan guy is precious… buddy, Fedor lost (repeatedly), and so you’ve lost the war with Dana. It’s over. Let the Russian Bear do what he wants to do, wander off into the wilderness and leave it behind him. And you give up the dream, and figure out a way to make money off something you can actually ‘do’ – something tangible, not just manipulation.

    @Mario – Fedor doesn’t want a rematch with Hendo, he couldn’t care less. It’s these asswipes managing him, literally watching millions of dollars they’d already counted flying out the window with every time Fedor hits the mat. Of his three recent defeats, only a rematch with Hendo has any appeal to it from a promoter’s standpoint. Werdum got put in his place already, and Bigfoot’s still in the tourney, so those rematches aren’t even worth bringing up.

    • Believe he…Fedor’s management is controlled by Fedor. Vadim and Fedor are partners.

      Fedor doesn’t get exploited by these guys. He is a partner in M-1 and makes money off of showtime-M-1 co-promotion.

      You will be shocked how much control Fedor has over his career.

      Don’t let Dana White fool you. The UFC never wants to deal with managers. They deal with fighters because they are easier to manipulate.