by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
As a report from the L.A. Times surfaced on the Internet on Tuesday, that Fedor Emelianenko and the Ultimate Fighting Championship were all but done negotiating a deal that would land the No. 1 ranked heavyweight in the world’s foremost mixed martial arts promotion, Fedor’s management gathered a press conference on Wednesday that far from confirmed such reports.
In fact, the press conference in Anaheim, Calif., only served to confirm counter reports that the two parties were still far from finalizing a contract.
The UFC made initial offers that M-1 Global countered, with company president Vadim Finkelchtein saying, “The UFC has their champions; we (M-1 Global) also have our champions and our representatives. We offered to have a co-promotion.”
He says that the UFC met the counter “very quietly.” The UFC has been resistant to holding a co-promoted event, even in attempts to land Fedor.
“The UFC made a different offer that was a very good offer,” continued Finkelchtein, but it still hasn’t been enough to bridge the gap between the two parties and they remain at an impasse.
The door is still open for those that hope to see Fedor Emelianenko in the Octagon across from Brock Lesnar or Randy Couture.
“Maybe not now, but maybe later,” Finkelchtein said of further progress being possible.
Fedor’s camp on Wednesday also announced that the fighter would grace the cover of the upcoming mixed martial arts video game from EA Sports.
“EA Sports (on Wednesday) will announce that Fedor Emelianenko will headline the EA Sports mixed martial arts fighter game due October next year, also along with Gegard Mousasi and Renato Babalu Sobral, who will also be in the game,” announced Jerry Millen, M-1’s vice president in the United States.
Although UFC President Dana White has remained steadfast in his comments that the UFC will not work with fighters that ink a deal with EA Sports, it is unlikely that Fedor’s already signed agreement with the video game company would create a chasm too wide to cross. Current UFC fighter Randy Couture also had a deal in place with EA Sports before he returned to the promotion last year.