M-1 President Comments on Dana White and Fedor

December 8, 2008
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PRESS RELEASE:

M-1 President Vadim Finkelchtein Responds to Dana White’s Name-Calling; Invites UFC’s President to meet Fedor at “Day of Reckoning”…

For over a year now UFC President Dana White has used an open forum to label the management of Fedor Emelianenko, led by M-1 President Vadim Finkelchtein, as “the crazy Russians.”

For much of that time, White has influenced the United States media to reflect his beliefs, as Finkelchtein tended to urgent matters of business — namely promoting his M-1 Challenge and managing fighters such as Fedor and Aleksander Emelianenko and Gegard Mousasi – instead of engaging in a war of words.

However, during a recent M-1 Challenge event, Finkelchtein responded to White’s statements in an interview conducted by M-1 executives Joost Raimond (serving as Finkelchtein’s translator) and Jerry Millen (serving as the interviewer).

Thanks to a three-part YouTube series, members of the U.S. MMA media are finally being presented the other side of the story so that they can form an opinion for themselves.

During the interview, Finkelchtein was asked by Millen what he thinks when he’s referred to in the press by White as a “crazy Russian.”

“Dana White has a tendency towards arrogance and everything not Dana White is either crazy or stupid,” Finkelchtein began to respond through Raimond.

“All this stuff about us not wanting to work with UFC is just utterly and completely untrue,” he continued. “We’ve always been completely open to basically working with anybody, including the UFC, because our goal has always been to put the greatest fighters against each other. And if the greatest fighter is a part of the UFC, fine; let’s put him up against our best guy and see how they do.”

Raimond added that Finkelchtein indicated that the UFC is very protective of their market share but that M-1 isn’t looking to take the UFC’s “pie” away, that his promotion simply wants to share some of it.

Finkelchtein also responded to a question from Millen regarding comments made by White during a November press conference in Toronto to promote UFC 94. In the interview, which can be seen on YouTube, White responds to a question from a fan regarding Fedor fighting for the UFC by stating at one point that he has never even met Fedor.

White’s claim that he has never met Fedor is accurate, but it’s also a situation that Finkelchtein is more than willing to rectify.

“The invitation is right there,” Finkelchtein expressed through Raimond. “If Dana wants to sit down at the table, he can come to St. Petersburg — he is very welcomed here. He can meet up with (me); he can meet up with Fedor. It’s not a problem at all.”

Finkelchtein indicated during the interview that he has traveled to Las Vegas in the past to meet with White. And if White does not have time to travel to Russia, Finkelchtein extended him an open invitation to meet the WAMMA heavyweight champion in Anaheim, California before he competes against Andrei Arlovski on Jan. 24 just prior to Affliction and M-1’s “Day of Reckoning” event.

“We’re not going to eat the UFC pie, but we want to share,” said Finkelchtein. “The invitation stands. They are welcome at any point in time, and definitely at the Jan. 24 event. We’ll talk about it (and) discuss it. We’re open to any kind of deal.”

Below is the full three-part video interview with Finkelchtein:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

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