Monte Cox

M-1 Global, Fedor Agree to Release

From Ben Goldstein on Flickr.

NEW YORK - M-1 Global announced today a mutual agreement with Vadim Finkelchtein, manager of former PRIDE champion Fedor Emelianenko, to release the heavyweight from his contractual obligations.
?“There is so much going on in the world of mixed martial arts right now that we have decided it is in our best interest if our company and Fedor go our separate ways”,? said M-1 Global President and CEO Monte Cox.
?“During the past six months the landscape of MMA, especially in the U.S., has dramatically changed,” Cox said. “The sport continues to gain mainstream acceptance and we believe we will be in a better position to capitalize on these new opportunities with this agreement.?”

“Because Finkelchtein already uses the ?M-1? name in Russia and Europe, we have mutually decided to avoid any confusion between our two organizations. Shortly, M-1 Global will announce a new name for its operations and its first event.? Fedor is a tremendous fighter and a great person? we wish him only the best in his future endeavors”,? Cox said.
?“We appreciate the support that Monte and the M-1 Global team have given Fedor”,? Finkelchtein said. “We wish M-1 Global great success and hope to work with them sometime in the future.?”

Report: Sylvia May Announce Intent to Leave UFC (Updated)

Tim Sylvia weighs-in for UFC 77: Hostile Territory. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Update 7:00 PM: Sylvia’s blog now tells fans to tune in to HDNet’s Inside MMA tomorrow night for information related to his “big news”.

After hinting that he may opt to leave the Ultimate Fighting Championship for the greener pastures of M-1 Global last month, it seems that former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia may be set to find a new home of his own after all.

Brian Knapp of The Fight Network reports that Sylvia could announce his decision to leave the UFC tomorrow according to a source close to the decision. However the source also noted that nothing was final and that the door for Sylvia to return to the UFC is still open as of now.

The Miletich Fighting Systems product is coming off of his second straight loss in yet another bid to regain his heavyweight title. Sylvia was submitted by interim champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 81: Breaking Point in February.

A post on his official website made yesterday states that Sylvia will be making a huge announcement pertaining to his career tomorrow.

“On Friday around noon, I’ve got a couple of big announcements to make about my career,” Sylvia said in the post. “So all of my loyal fans will want to stay tuned to my website because this is huge.”

Back in February, Sylvia mentioned the fact that Brock Lesnar currently making more money than him could be a deciding factor in the Maine native switching organizations.

“I have one fight left on my contract,” Sylvia said in February. “I want to stay with the UFC but I’m going to go where the money is right now. Brock is making more money than me but that has to change. I have a better name than him and I’m the better fighter. My manager runs M-1 so I have a pretty good way of getting in there.”

Of course Monte Cox has since parted ways with M-1 Global. Could Big Tim be part of Cox’s planned June show in Chicago?

Report: Sylvia, Cox Want to Re-Sign With UFC

Tim Sylvia weighs-in for UFC 81: Breaking Point. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

After hinting that he may opt to leave the Ultimate Fighting Championship for the greener pastures of M-1 Global, Tim Sylvia now may be staying with the UFC after all, if they choose to sign him to a new deal that is.

The news comes from Five Ounces of Pain. Sam Caplan was able to sit down with Sylvia’s manager, Monte Cox, and discuss the situation.

“My situation with Tim is that we’re looking to re-sign with the UFC,” Cox told Caplan in the report. “We think he performed well against Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. He got caught but he certainly showed he’s top five in the world right now. We’d like to re-sign with the UFC. But if that’s not possible there are lots of options now.”

One of those other options would obviously be M-1, of which Cox currently serves as President and CEO of the organization. The chance of potentially fighting Fedor Emelianenko would easily draw Sylvia to a new home if necessary.

t was only last month when Sylvia posted some rather stinging comments when it came to his current perception of the UFC via the message forums on his official website.

“I have one fight left on my contract,” Sylvia said in February. “I want to stay with the UFC but I’m going to go where the money is right now. Brock is making more money than me but that has to change. I have a better name than him and I’m the better fighter. My manager runs M-1 so I have a pretty good way of getting in there.”

If Sylvia and the UFC are indeed unable to reach a new deal before the former champion’s next fight, he would become the third high-profile UFC star in recent months to finish their contract with the organization. Andrei Arlovski and Josh Koscheck both became free agents after their respective fights this past weekend.

Sylvia Considering Move to M-1?

Photo by Curtis Smith. Courtesy of

In an interesting turn of events, former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia may be leaning towards a departure from the UFC following his next fight, which will also be the final fight under his current contract with the promotion.

Sylvia recently left a post in the message forums of his official website where he revealed that one of the reasons behind him leaving concerns the fact that former professional wrestling superstar Brock Lesnar may possibly be making more money than the Miletich Fighting Systems product at the moment.

“I have one fight left on my contract,” Sylvia stated. I want to stay with the UFC but I’m going to go where the money is right now. Brock is making more money than me but that has to change. I have a better name than him and I’m the better fighter. My manager runs M-1 so I have a pretty good way of getting in there. We’ll see what happens in the next few months.”

Monte Cox, who serves as Sylvia’s manager, was named President and CEO of M-1 Global this past October.

Sylvia recently fell short in a bid for the interim UFC heavyweight title when he was submitted by Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira last weekend at UFC 81: Breaking Point. The loss was the second consecutive defeat for the Iowa native, who also dropped a unanimous decision to current champion Randy Couture last March.

Touch of gloves to MMA Mania for the find.

Report: Calvancante-Aoki Postponed

Sherdog’s Greg Savage is reporting that the lightweight super-fight between Shinya Aoki and Gesias Calvancante scheduled for the Yarennoka! show on New Year’s Eve may not be happening according to certain sources.

I posted a blurb yesterday about Savage’s comments on his radio show yesterday.

There’s been no indication as to what the real reason might be in terms of why the fight may be canceled/postponed.

It’s rumored that Calvancante is coming off of recent knee surgery and one can only wonder if the reigning K-1 Lightweight Tournament Champion is not healthy enough to compete at the moment. There are no known injuries that Aoki has suffered lately.

If the fight is not happening, M-1 Global CEO Monte Cox has no knowledge of it:

“As far as I know the fight is still happening,” said Cox, “and it is one I am really looking forward to seeing.”

Update 6:00 PM: Sherdog is now reporting that the fight will now be postponed according to information received from Calvancante’s father.

Still no official word on why the fight isn’t taking place but Calvancante has reportedly not been training for this fight at all so I’m going to assume that he’s still not fully recovered from his surgery.

Update 12/23 12:00 PM: The fight is officially cancelled. DEEP officials held a press conference yesterday announcing that the bout would not take place.

Back to the Future: With A Bang

The UFC is certainly starting 2008 with a bang in terms of all of the fights they’ve put together already. Here’s some news on three more potential matchups that could be announced in the near future.

Sherdog’s Greg Savage is reporting that Michael Bisping will make his debut at middleweight against “Chainsaw” Charles McCarthy at an upcoming UFC event in London, England on March 8th. That gives us two UFC events in the month of March and both just six days apart. (UFC 82 is currently slated to take place on March 2nd at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio)

While we all know what Bisping has been up to these days, McCarthy has not fought in the UFC since submitting Gideon Ray with an armbar at The Ultimate Fighter 4 Finale last year. McCarthy was stopped in his debut by David Loiseau at UFC 53: Heavy Hitters in June 2005.

The Fight Network is reporting two things of interest in the UFC’s heavyweight division.

According to Loretta Hunt, the UFC has offered Justin McCully a bout against Cheick Kongo for UFC 81 in February. McCully has apparently not yet made a decision on the offer but is expected to make one at some point this week.

It seems that the UFC was originally leaning on having Kongo take on fellow contender Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira but that all fell apart once Randy Couture resigned from the company.

Speaking of Nogueira, Hunt has also learned that he and former champion Tim Sylvia have both been sent bout agreements to face each other for the vacant UFC Heavyweight Title on February 2nd.

According to Sylvia’s manager Monte Cox, Sylvia has signed his paper:

“Tim signed the contract, and we haven’t heard anything else about it—if Nogueira has signed his contract or what,” said Cox.

Two Bouts Added to Yarennoka!

Officials running the Yarennoka! show scheduled to take place at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan held a press conference earlier today to announce two additional bouts for the event.

Reigning K-1 lightweight tournament champion Gesias Calvancanti will face Shinya Aoki for the first time in their respective careers.

Calvancanti had a monster year in 2007, stopping Nam Phan, Vitor Ribeiro, and Andre Amade in consecutive fights to win the K-1 Hero’s lightweight tourney for the second straight year. Calvancanti’s lone career loss came at the hands of Joachim Hansen at a Shooto event in 2004.

Aoki is 2-1 so far in 2007, submitting Brian Lo-A-Njoe at PRIDE 34 in April and earning a close split decision win over highly touted welterweight Akira Kikuchi at Shooto’s first “Back to our Roots” show in February.

The second bout announced at the press conference was Hayato “Mach” Sakurai returning to action against Hidehiko Hasegawa.

Sakurai last fought at PRIDE 33 where he knocked out current Ultimate Fighter contestant Mac Danzig.

Sakurai’s confirmed participation as this event should dispel the rumor that he had signed with the UFC to compete at welterweight. The UFC even showed him as a UFC welterweight during a PPV broadcast earlier this year but I’m assuming that contract talks thought to be a done deal may have fell apart. Either that or Sakurai is being lent to the show by Zuffa.

Hasegawa has been fairly active in 2007, earning a majority decision win over Jutaro Nakao in his first bout of the year. Hasegawa then faced Dong Hyun Kim in consecutive fights; Kim defeated Hasegawa in August by TKO before the two fought to a draw last month.

An official opponent for Fedor Emelianenko was not announced at the press conference. Officials present included M-1 Global CEO Monte Cox, FEG president Sadaharu Tanigawa, former PRIDE official Nobuhiko Takada and DEEP president Shigeru Saeki.

Saitama NYE Event Press Conference Notes

A press conference was held earlier today in Japan to officially announce a New Year’s Eve MMA event that will take place at the Saitama Super Arena, in Saitama, Japan.

Now I can’t speak a lick of Japanese so I can’t tell you who exactly the promoter is behind this whole thing but I’ll be able to find out later today.

Zach Arnold at Fight Opinion has an awesome recap of everything as always. So awesome in fact, that M-1’s Russian site has decided to re-write it and post it.

The press conference was attended by a load of former PRIDE and DSE officials, including Nobuhiko Takada. Many of them will be involved in the running and production of the event. The event will be broadcast on SkyPerfecTV PPV and as of right now, there are no plans to have anything other than a Japanese-only broadcast.

Fighters that have been announced as officially competing at the event are Fedor Emelianenko, Hayato Sakurai, Shinya Aoki, Tatsuya Kawajiri, and Mitsuhiro Ishida. Other fighters that were mentioned as possibly competing at the event were Kazuo Misaki, Joachim Hansen, Ricardo Arona, Gilbert Melendez, Luiz Azevedo, and Hidehiko Hasegawa.

There was no mention of Hong Man Choi in any forum, leading more credibility to The Fight Network’s Brian Knapp and his report via Monte Cox that Hong Man Choi is not signed to fight Fedor and is nothing more than an option as of right now.

Cox mentioned a few details in terms of the lending out of Fedor by M-1. Fedor is set to be paid $1.5 million by the Japanese promotion and they are also responsible for choosing Fedor’s opponent:

“Part of the deal is that they choose the opponent,” Cox said. “They’re choosing an opponent that makes sense for the Japanese market.”

I’ll update this post whenever I receive more information on the press conference.

Report: Fedor Not Fighting on NYE

MMA Weekly is reporting that Fedor Emelianenko will not be fighting in Japan on New Year’s Eve despite heavily circulating rumors.

M-1 CEO Monte Cox said that Fedor had been offered a fight but his management team turned down the offer because of a lack of time:

“No. It’s not going to happen,” said M-1’s president and CEO, Monte Cox, of the proposed fight. There was an offer. We looked at it. We tried to see if it was possible, but in the end, there just wasn’t enough time to pull it off. It wasn’t a bad idea. It was kind of planned to be a sort of goodbye to Pride fans for Fedor.”

Brazilian online magazine Tatame had a quote from the manager of Pedro Rizzo who stated that his client received an offer to fight Fedor”

“Actually, we received a proposal, but we can´t say from whom. Now it´s too early to speak”, said Jorge Guimarães, Rizzo´s manager.

M-1 Global Press Conference Notes

Some notes from yesterday’s M-1 Global press conference which took place in New York City…

- Sibling Sports LLC is the name of the undisclosed American entertainment company that purchased M-1. The company is formed by Sibling Theatricals Inc and Garlin Holdings Limited. Mitchell Maxwell will serve as President of Sibling Sports while Monte Cox will serve as President and CEO of M-1 Global.

- Fedor Emelianenko’s contract is a two-year, six-fight, multi-million dollar deal. He has a clause in the contract that will allow him to fight in other organizations. If the UFC is able to bring Randy Couture back and would like to set up a mega-fight between him and Fedor, M-1 will send him over and also pay Couture and the winner of the fight an extra $1 million.

- M-1 Global is planning their first show to take place in the United States in February. They would also like to host shows in Russia, Korea, Japan, and the Netherlands as well. At least three of the promotion’s events next year will take place outside of the United States. The first show in Japan will most likely take place next summer.

- The company is still looking for a television deal. HBO, Showtime, and HDNet are said to all be among the interested parties.

- The new stable of fighters recently signed with the promotion will be revealed within the next 7-10 days.

- Fedor’s next opponent has not yet been named. Josh Barnett and Mark Hunt are said to be the favorites.

- M-1 Global will continue to use a rule set similar to the set that PRIDE used before it’s collapse. The promotion would like to adopt a set of rules that could be used anywhere in the future however.

- According to Fedor, the UFC apparently turned down an offer from PRIDE to have Fedor fight Tim Sylvia when he was the UFC Heavyweight Champion for unknown reasons. Fedor also added that a similar offer was made to match up Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva when they were champions as well.

- The UFC made a contract offer to Aleksander Emelianenko but the deal was apparently much lower than what Aleksander is worth according to his brother.

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