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 yearās end. Werdum submitted Emelianenko with a triangle choke-armbar combination at the two promotionsā second co-branded event on June 26 in San Jose, Calif.
āFor us, it makes the most sense for us to do the Werdum fight because it seems like thatās the fight that all the fans want,ā Kogan told Sherdog.com on Tuesday. āIn Russia, 85 percent of the respondents (to a recent poll) -- and thatās thousands of people ā--are saying that thatās the fight they want.ā
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker told the Sherdog Radio Networkās āBeatdownā show last week that a bout between the 33-year-old Russian fighter and heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem was still a possibility, despite Emelianenkoās first loss in nearly 10 years.
āOnce we sit down and negotiate with Strikeforce and Showtime, the next opponent will become clear in a reasonable short period of time,ā said Kogan.
Kogan said that Emelianenko is taking a brief vacation with his family before resuming his training.
āOut of everyone following the fight, (Fedor) was the most OK,ā said Kogan of Emelianenkoās mindset. āTo him, I can assume it was disappointing, but everyone else seemed much more upset than he was.ā
Like in early 2010, Emelianenkoās 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 Showtimeās 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.
āWe are open to every eventuality,ā said Kogan. āWe enjoyed working with Showtime and Strikeforce together. This was, in our opinion, a good co-promoted event. Weāre happy with the way it went and we will consider all options. No path is closed to us.ā
UFC President Dana White was among Emelianenkoās 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 āzero interestā in signing Emelianenko now that his unmatchable streak has been snapped. Emelianenkoās storied career includes victories over greats like Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Mirko āCro Copā Filipovic, as well as an assortment of former UFC champions and contenders.
Kogan had no comment for Whiteās recent remarks. He confirmed that M-1 Global doesnāt have the legal flexibility to negotiate with other promotions at this time and said, āNor do we want to.ā
āFollowing June 26, we have unfinished business,ā said Kogan. āWeād like to deal with the loss. We donāt want to negotiate with others. Weāre happy with our partners.ā