In the aftermath of Affliction’s decision to cancel it’s third PPV event, “Trilogy,” shutter its live entertainment division, and resume friendly relations with the Ultimate Fighting Championship, an M-1 contingent of 35 is in Los Angeles trying to figure out its next step. This morning, Fedor’s agent, and M-1 Global president, Vadim Finkelchtein issued a statement about a possible collaboration with the world’s largest MMA promotion:
“This is the moment of truth that the UFC has talked about. Fedor and I are here in the States. If they want to come out and fly here, we are ready to conduct negotiations. Of course it still doesn’t imply we are ready to accept any conditions they’ll throw at us. We want to talk to the UFC about having Fedor compete against some of their fighters, but only within the framework of co-promotional efforts with M-1 Global.”
M-1 and the UFC know that working together represents the biggest possible payday right now but they continue to be worlds apart when it comes to drafting acceptable terms; in short, the UFC is a walled garden and if they allow one fighter too many concessions it throws its own roster-wide negotiation strategies under the bus. But if Affliction, Randy Couture and Tito Ortiz have taught us anything, it’s that UFC president Dana White is willing to do whatever he needs to if it makes dollars and sense.
White has said he will be making an announcement on a host of issues related to Affliction, M-1, and possibly Ortiz at a press conference on July 31. Don’t be surprised if White makes enough concessions to seal a deal with the European promoters, especially if it keeps top-name fighters away from Strikeforce.
The full statement from M-1 Global can be found here.
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