Are Fedor and the UFC Close to a Deal?

Fedor Emelianenko. Photo by Tracy Lee/

Differing reports issued today are insinuating that longtime heavyweight king Fedor Emelianenko may or may not be close to a deal that would finally land him inside the confines of the UFC.

Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday afternoon that Emelianenko’s management team and the UFC were finalizing a contract that would reportedly be announced as early as this coming Friday. However, Sports Illustrated‘s Josh Gross is now quoting M-1 Global’s Apy Echteld as dismissing Pugmire’s story as “inaccurate”.

The LA Times report quoted an anonymous source close to the contract talks, but not affiliated with the UFC, as saying that negotiations between the two sides were “very civil”, a stark contrast to previously reported meetings between Dana White and Vadim Finkelchtein which produced a war of words between them.

Last week, White announced on a charity radiothon for Las Vegas’ ESPN 1100 that the UFC would be holding a press conference on July 31 to announce a variety of new ventures that have likely come as a result of the collapse of Affliction Entertainment.

Meanwhile, Emelianenko will be holding a press conference of his own tomorrow afternoon in Anaheim, California, marking the first time that the former PRIDE heavyweight champion will speak to the media since Affliction scrapped its “Trilogy” event over the weekend.

“Since the cancellation, there has been a great deal of speculation regarding Fedor and M-1,” Finkelchtein said in a press release sent out this morning. “On Wednesday, the media and fans will be able to hear what’s going on with Fedor from the man himself.”


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