Loretta Hunt of The Fight Network is reporting through a source close to M-1 that Fedor Emelianenko has signed an exclusive deal with the promotion:
PRIDE heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko has committed exclusively to the new ownership of M-1 Mix-Fight Championship, which has been purchased outright by an undisclosed American entertainment-related company, according to a source close to the deal who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Established in 1997, the St. Petersburg-based M-1 held over 30 events under the ownership of Russian businessman Vadim Finkelstein, also the long-time manager of the much-sought-after Emelianenko. Finkelstein is also the proprietor of the Red Devil Sports Club, a facility and team that houses numerous Russian fighters, including PRIDE veteran Roman Zentsov and former UFC middleweight Andrei Semenov.
Now notice what was just quoted above - M-1 was purchased by an undisclosed American entertainment-related company.
I’m just going out on a limb here but with all the rumors floating around about a “new PRIDE” coming together, I have two questions to ask: Does this “undisclosed American company” have anything to do with Ed Fishman? Also, did Fedor decide to sign with M-1 instead of the UFC because this might be “the new PRIDE”?
Finkelstein is going to help with the running of the promotion, meaning that Fedor is obviously going to be the focal point of things.
Anything is possible at this point but we won’t have to wait very long to find out exactly what’s going on as a formal announcement of the purchase, the Fedor signing, and the promotion’s next event is expected before the end of October.