M-1 Global, Fedor Challenge Brock Lesnar

Fedor Emelianenko

M-1’s Official Statement on Brock Lesnar’s victory

M-1 would like to congratulate Brock Lesnar on his UFC heavyweight title victory as well as acknowledge Randy Couture’s return to active competition after a layoff that lasted over a year.

Couture and WAMMA heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko had publicly acknowledged a desire to fight each other multiple times over the course of the past year. While M-1 and Fedor remain interested in a match against Couture, we would also like to publicly state for the record that we would welcome a superfight between Fedor and Lesnar that would be held as a co-promoted event between the UFC, M-1, and Affliction Entertainment.

We’ve invited the media to speak with us today to not only make it clear we would welcome a Fedor vs. Lesnar matchup, but to act in a preemptive fashion to address the possibility that UFC officials will try and position Lesnar as the number one heavyweight in the world, much like they have tried to use a marketing ploy to brand Anderson Silfva as the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world.

In the past, UFC president Dana White and Zuffa, LLC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta have tried to claim that Fedor was “overrated” and that his “record was irrelevant.” They make these claims in spite of the fact that Fedor holds career victories over UFC champions past and present. While we have tremendous respect for the contributions Mr. Fertitta and Dana have made to this sport, we do not believe they are sincere in their statements.

It is the position of M-1 that the UFC has adopted an anti-Fedor policy because multiple attempts to sign him have not been fruitful. For a company that has tried to market itself as the number one promotion in the world, they are unable to accept the fact that the number one fighter in the world does not reside on its roster of contracted fighters.

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Trump, M-1 Revisit “Fighting Fedor”

Fedor Emelianenko. Photo courtesy of Affliction Entertainment.

Today in New York City, Donald Trump and executives from Affliction Entertainment and M-1 Global held a press conference officially announcing the production of a new MMA-related reality show titled “Fighting Fedor”, which will pit 16 heavyweight fighters from around the world against each other for a shot at fighting former PRIDE heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko.

It will be the first time that Affliction and M-1 have partnered together since co-promoting “Banned on July 19. The concept was originally announced by M-1 Global earlier this year, but very little details were confirmed until this afternoon. Everyone involved, including Vadim Finkelstein, who currently serves as M-1 Global’s active president and Emelianenko’s longtime manager, feels that the project will be nothing short of a success.

“There are many international fighters that [people in] the United States don’t know about,” Finkelstein said at today’s press conference. “They include fighters from different countries and fighters that have very interesting and wonderful styles and are very exciting. We’re now opening the doors [for] the next generation of fighters. We anticipate that this project will be a great success.”

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Team USA Edges Out Korea in M-1 Challenge

Jordan Radev. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Team USA earned a narrow 3-2 win over Team Korea behind the performances of Jake Ellenberger and Jeremiah Constant at the latest edition of the M-1 Challenge in Korea.

Ellenberger scored a second-round TKO of Doo Won Seo via doctor’s stoppage due to cuts while Constant submitting Ji Hoon Kim in the first round of their featured bout. David Gardner‘s quick knockout of Jang Yong Kim handed the Americans the hard-fought victory.

Behind a strong showing by UFC veteran Jordan Radev, the World Star Team soundly defeated Team Japan 4-1. Radev, who was released from the UFC following a loss to Dean Lister last December, picked up his third straight win, winning a decision over Yuya Shirai.

Other notable bouts saw Bruno Carvalho decision DREAM veteran Tatsuya Mizuno and Roman Zentsov fall to Sang Soo Lee by way of first-round submission in one of the show’s superfights.

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M-1 Inks Deal With HDNet Fights

Aleksander Emelianenko. Photo courtesy of MFC M-1.

M-1 Global, the Russian-based organization run by Vadim Finklestein, has announced that it have come to terms on an agreement with HDNet to broadcast future events on the digital cable network.

According to a press release sent out to the media today, the network will televise the 2008 season of the M-1 Challenge starting on September 19. Although they have yet to make an official announcement, HDNet Fights confirmed the deal on their website this evening.

In addition to HDNet, those outside of North America will be able to watch M-1 programming in Africa (GTV), Korea (CBS), Brazil, (SporTV), the Philippines (Solar), and India (ZEE) as well. The promotion has featured the likes of Aleksander Emelianenko, Roman Zentsov, Ansar Chalangov, and Gegard Mousasi in recent events.

Evening News and Notes: April 24, 2008

Photo courtesy of FedorMMA.com.

M-1 Global has announced the launching of a mixed martial arts-based reality show that will center around former PRIDE heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko.

“Fighting Fedor” will involve sixteen heavyweights from all over the world traveling to Russia to live and train with the Red Devil Sport Club. The fighters will apparently compete against each other in a tournament-style format and the winner will have the chance to fight Emelianenko and pretty much face near-death in the process.

Additional details as well as the list of cast members is expected to be announced shortly.

DREAM Dropped by TBS; Picked up by HDNet?

DREAM live events have reportedly been dropped from the Tokyo Broadcasting System’s lineup due to lackluster ratings. The organization’s inaugural event only drew an 8.9 percent rating average in primetime, which is considered dismal by Japanese standards.

The network will air DREAM’s April 29th event on tape delay one week after the event takes place. It will be the last event the network airs. SkyPerfecTV pay-per-view will then assume duties of airing DREAM events for the future.

However what is Japan’s loss might be the United States’ gain according to our friends at MMARated.com, who report that tomorrow night’s episode of “Inside MMA” on HDNet will feature some interesting news regarding the FEG-owned promotion and the digital cable network.

Yvel-Overeem Scrapped

A bout between Dutch strikers Alistair Overeem and Gilbert Yvel scheduled to take place this Saturday at the K-1 European Grand Prix has been scrapped due to Yvel suffering a left calf injury during a recent training session. The fight was the only MMA bout slated to happen on the card, which will pan out at the Amsterdam Arena in the Netherlands.

“Last Thursday during a training session with Mirko Cro Cop, I suffered an injury which was diagnosed as torn muscle fiber in the hospital,” Yvel explained Thursday at a news conference according to Sherdog.com. “Even after two days of absolute rest and with lots of ice on the leg, I was barely able to stand on my left foot.”

It is unknown if a replacement opponent will be found in time for Overeem.

Cole Replaces Goodridge at “Anger Management”

IFL veteran Wayne Cole will replace an injured Gary Goodridge against heavyweight Eric Pele at the Maximum Fighting Championship’s upcoming “Anger Management” show on May 9th according to The Fight Network.

Goodridge was forced to pull out of the main event bout due to a recently suffered back injury. Goodridge suffered the injury during a recent training session and will be required to undergo surgery to repair the the sciatic nerve in his lower back.

Emelianenko Stops Santos at M-1 Challenge

Aleksander Emelianenko. Photo courtesy of MFC M-1.

Aleksander Emelianenko, the younger brother of top heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko, stopped Brazilian Silvao Santos to earn his first win of 2008 at the latest edition of the M-1 Challenge yesterday.

After stuffing an early takedown attempt by Santos, Emelianenko used a judo throw to get Santos on the canvas. A scramble quickly allowed Santos to get back to his feet, but in doing so found himself stuck in a guillotine choke that nearly ended the fight.

Emelianenko finally let go of the hold and peppered Santos with strikes while the Brazilian was stuck in a corner. After another failed takedown attempt, Emelianenko connected with a right hand that sent Santos crumpling to the mat. Emelianenko was able to get one more right hand in before referee Yuji Shimada stepped in to save Santos.

In the additional featured fights on the card, Amar Suloev stopped opponent Jacek Buczko with strikes and Roman Zentsov escaped with a close split decision over Daniel Tabera.

Full results from the show:

Niko Puhakka def. Jong Man Kim - Submission (Triangle)
Janne Tulirinta def. Doo Won Seo - TKO (Strikes)
Hyun Gyu Lim def. Lucio Linhares - KO (Punch)
Toni Valtonen def. Seung Hyun Choi - Submission (Rear Naked Choke)
Jarno Nurminen def. Ji Hoon Kim - TKO (Corner Stoppage)
Victor Nemkov def. Christian Bombay - Submission (Triangle)
Daisuke Nakamura def. Juri Ivlev - Unanimous Decision
Ken Hamamura def. Islam Karimov - TKO (Strikes)
Besiki Gerenava def. Yuji Sakuragi - Unanimous Decision
Akhmet Sultanov def. Katsuhisa Fujii - Submission (Armbar)
Yuta Watanabe def. Ansar Chalangov - Submission (Rear Naked Choke)
Amar Suloev def. Jacek Buczko - TKO (Strikes)
Roman Zentsov def. Daniel Tabera - Split Decision
Aleksander Emelianenko def. Silvao Santos - TKO (Strikes)

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: Fedor Never Under Contract With M-1

From Ben Goldstein on Flickr.

As if all the drama involving Fedor Emelianenko and M-1 Global wasn’t already mind-boggling enough, a contract that reportedly never even existed between the two might do it for you.

A source close to both sides has come out and revealed to Sherdog that an actual deal was actually never signed between Emelianenko and the organization that announced plans to begin holding worldwide events under new ownership late last year but still has yet to do so.

The source also went on to say that the return of a $1.5 million signing bonus Emelianenko received as part of sending a letter of intent to compete inside the confines of the organization will likely pave the way for the former PRIDE heavyweight champion to offically become a free agent.

Apy Echteld, one of Emelianenko’s agents, revealed earlier this month that his client would become a free agent after his current contract with M-1 Global ran out. So was there or was there not a deal set in stone? We may never know.

Fans craving a showdown between Emelianenko and Randy Couture will be ecstatic to know that among the many organizations lining up to bid for the Russian’s services, the Ultimate Fighting Championship and Emelianenko’s management team have both confirmed that they are interested in speaking with each other once again in hopes of striking a deal.

However it should also be known that Couture, who was once said he would return to the UFC provided the promotion was able to sign Emelianenko, has now changed his tone.

When asked if he cared where a potential fight against Emelianenko would take place in a recent interview with M-1 MixFight, Couture stated that he didn’t have a preference, as long as it didn’t take place in the UFC.

“I don’t care where it happens as long as it doesn’t happen in the UFC,” Couture said in the interview. “Outside of that, I don’t care where it happens as long as it does happen.”

Alexander Emelianenko Headlines M-1 Challenge

Aleksander Emelianenko throws a right hand at Josh Barnett. Photo property of PRIDE FC Worldwide.

Aleksander Emelianenko, the younger brother of top heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko, is currently scheduled to headline M-1’s first event since the organization announced plans to begin holding worldwide events under new ownership late last year.

The news comes from M-1 MixFight, which is reporting that Emelianenko will participate in the main event of a fifteen-bout card that also features two matchups between internationally-fielded teams. The Red Devil Sport Club product will take on Mo Team League veteran Fabio Maldonado.

Aleksander has not fought since submitting Dan Bobish at an October Hardcore Championsip Fighting event. Maldonado last knocked out Cachorro Louco in December.

Amar Suloev, Ansar Chalangov and Roman Zentsov will also be in action.

The current fight card is as follows:

Aleksander Emelianenko vs. Fabio Maldonado
Amar Suloev vs. Jacek Buczko
Roman Zentsov vs Junior dos Santos
Ansar Chalangov vs. Watanabe Yuta
Niko Puhakka vs. Kim Jongman
Janne Tulirinta vs. Lee Yonghoon
Lucio Linhares vs. Lim Hyungyu
Toni Valtonen vs. Choi Seunghyun
Jarno Nurminen vs. Kim Jihoon
Yuri Ivlev vs. Nakamura Daisuke
Islam Karimov vs. Hamamura Ken
Besike Gerinava vs. Sakuragi Yuji
Ahmed Sultanov vs. Fujii Katsuhisa
Marat Gelaev vs. Yunus Evloev
Victor Nemkov vs. TBA

Fedor to Become Free Agent, UFC Interested?

From Ben Goldstein on Flickr.

It seems that the world’s top heavyweight’s relationship with M-1 Global will be over just about as soon as it started.

In a recent interview with ESPN the Magazine‘s Ryan Hockensmith, one of Fedor Emelianenko’s agents, Apy Echteld, has revealed that his client is set to become a free agent later this week after his current contract with M-1 Global runs out.

“Officially, yes, Fedor will be a free agent,” Echteld said in the report. Echteld also pointed out that a formal announcement from the organization will be released in the coming days.

However even more interesting than this is the fact that the Ultimate Fighting Championship and Emelianenko’s management team have both confirmed that they are interested in speaking with each other once again in hopes of striking a deal.

When asked if he would ever attempt to sign Fedor again, UFC President Dana White reportedly quickly said yes.

“Absolutely, 100 percent, in a heartbeat,” said White. “People think he’s the best, I don’t, not even close. But if it’s somehow possible, I would make it happen.”

“We’re open to a discussion,” Echteld confirmed with ESPN. “If everybody is willing to put a little wine in the water, then we have something to work with. There is space for this to happen.”

Now the big question: If this story is true and if the UFC is somehow able to sign Fedor, will Randy Couture come back even after all of the crap he has gone through in the last five months?

Touch of gloves to Five Ounces of Pain for the find.

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