. M-1: Fans Want Fedor-Werdum 2
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M-1: Fans Want Fedor-Werdum 2

M-1 Global will a pursue a rematch between its top client, Fedor Emelianenko, and Fabricio Werdum when the management team meets with its co-promotional partner Strikeforce in the coming weeks to discuss a contract extension.

Evgeni Kogan, Director of Operations for the Holland-based organization, said that M-1 Global hopes to co-promote the rematch with Strikeforce before the year’s end. Werdum submitted Emelianenko with a triangle choke-armbar combination at the two promotions’ second co-branded event on June 26 in San Jose, Calif.

“For us, it makes the most sense for us to do the Werdum fight because it seems like that’s the fight that all the fans want,” Kogan told Sherdog.com on Tuesday. “In Russia, 85 percent of the respondents (to a recent poll) -- and that’s thousands of people –--are saying that that’s the fight they want.”

Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show last week that a bout between the 33-year-old Russian fighter and heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem was still a possibility, despite Emelianenko’s first loss in nearly 10 years.

“Once we sit down and negotiate with Strikeforce and Showtime, the next opponent will become clear in a reasonable short period of time,” said Kogan.

Kogan said that Emelianenko is taking a brief vacation with his family before resuming his training.

“Out of everyone following the fight, (Fedor) was the most OK,” said Kogan of Emelianenko’s mindset. “To him, I can assume it was disappointing, but everyone else seemed much more upset than he was.”

Like in early 2010, Emelianenko’s return to the Strikeforce cage will depend on upcoming discussions. Following their first co-promoted venture in November 2009, M-1 Global engaged in renegotiations with Strikeforce to revise the three-event contract both had signed that prior August.

The two outlets came to a new agreement in May, and Kogan said that since then, relations between M-1 and Strikeforce have never been better. Kogan added that Showtime’s inclusion in negotiations has paved an easier path for all. The premium-pay cable network is the U.S. broadcast partner for Strikeforce.

Kogan said M-1 Global is receptive to the next round of negotiations with Strikeforce, which could lead to the entities enacting extensions in their already existing contract for additional co-promoted events featuring Emelianenko. As it stands, Emelianenko will fight once more under the current co-promotional agreement.

“We are open to every eventuality,” said Kogan. “We enjoyed working with Showtime and Strikeforce together. This was, in our opinion, a good co-promoted event. We’re happy with the way it went and we will consider all options. No path is closed to us.”

UFC President Dana White was among Emelianenko’s more vocal suitors last year when the coveted former Pride FC champion briefly became a free agent following the collapse of Affliction Entertainment and the cancellation of its Aug. 1 event. Even after Emelianenko turned down a multi-fight, seven-figure exclusive deal with the UFC and went instead with Strikeforce, White still vowed to sign the fighter with a 26-fight win streak.

White said last week that the UFC has “zero interest” in signing Emelianenko now that his unmatchable streak has been snapped. Emelianenko’s storied career includes victories over greats like Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic, as well as an assortment of former UFC champions and contenders.

Kogan had no comment for White’s recent remarks. He confirmed that M-1 Global doesn’t have the legal flexibility to negotiate with other promotions at this time and said, “Nor do we want to.”

“Following June 26, we have unfinished business,” said Kogan. “We’d like to deal with the loss. We don’t want to negotiate with others. We’re happy with our partners.”

Fedor source: http://www.sherdog.com/news/news/M-1-Fans-Want-Fedor-Werdum-2-25512


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