FORMER M-1 EXEC: Dana White is 100% Correct
I left M1 and it was amicable, but there was a huge amount of money still owed to me for the M1 Series production. I was told I would be taken care of, and I never was. A portion of the money owed was supposed to be for the M1 commentators, Jimmy Smith and Sean Wheelock. They were never paid by M-1, so I paid them out of my own pocket."
"I'm selling these tapes as a way to recoup the substantial amount of money that is owned to me. M1 didn't pay the invoices and the past year and a half they've been giving me BS excuses. I know financially things aren't well for them, but this is a complete reflection of M1.
"This is not aimed to hurt Fedor Emelianenko in anyway. He's been completely mismanaged. I hate to say that Dana White is right, but he's 100% right with most of the comments he's made towards M-1. They unfortunately ruined Fedor's career. Can it be salvaged? Sure. But M1 as a management company is ridiculous.
Court Denies Summary Judgment Motions in Affliction M-1/Fedor Litigation
On June 7, 2011, Judge Margaret M. Morrow denied the parties cross-motions for summary judgment in the Affliction v. M-1/Fedor litigation. I have previously posted about the litigation — most recently here.
The 55 page decision is a VERY interesting read especially with respect to the facts surrounding the “Trilogy” non-event — in particular the discussions and ultimate agreement between Affliction and the UFC.
Below are some of the interesting points — note the chronology.
As set forth in the Court’s decision, at a “July 13, 2009 meeting, Bassiri and Lawrence Epstein, UFC’s general counsel, discussed the possibility that UFC would assume responsibility for the Trilogy show and postpone it to September 19, 2009, in Dallas. Bassiri told Epstein that Affliction Promotions wanted to leave the MMA promotion business and re-establish its relationship with the UFC.” ...
In Spite of M-1's Earlier Denial, Fedor Admits He is Indeed Considering a Drop to 205
When rumors began circulating that Fedor Emelianenko was considering a drop to light heavyweight to face Strikeforce 205-pound kingpin Dan Henderson, representatives from M-1 were quick to quash them.
“At this time it is all rumor with no truth. It’s not anything M-1 has considered at all,” M-1's head of PR Eric Nicholls told MiddleEasy last month. “Should it be decided that Fedor would consider dropping to 205, M-1 would make an official announcement.”
M-1 Challenge 24 Nets 189,000 Viewers on Showtime
reported 189,000 viewers tuned in to watch M-1 Global’s debut on Showtime, which aired at 11 p.m. ET on March 26.
M-1 Challenge 24, which was headlined by a lightweight title confrontation between Artiom Damkovsky and Jose Figueroa, took place at the Ted Constant Convocation Center on the campus of Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va.
MMAJunkie.com first reported the numbers on Wednesday, and Sherdog.com confirmed the statistics with a source close to the event. The program reportedly earned a 0.52 household rating; demographic information was not available at the time of this report.
In the main event, Figueroa snatched the promotion’s lightweight belt from Damkovsky in the Belarusian’s first title defense. After scoring multiple takedowns, the American Top Team Orlando-trained Figueroa finished the fight with ground-and-pound in the second period.
The event also saw co-headliner Magomed Sultanakhmedov capture the vacant M-1 middleweight strap, as he knocked out Team Quest representative Tyson Jeffries in the second frame. Using unpredictable strikes to both the head and body of his foe, Sultanakhmedov earned his seventh consecutive knockout victory at 3:07 of round two.
M-1 and Showtime Reach Broadcast Deal, First Event Airs on March 25
International fight promotion M-1 Global and premium U.S. cable channel Showtime have reached a deal to televise four U.S. events in 2011, MMA Fighting has learned.
The first event will take place on March 25 at the Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va. and air at 11 p.m. ET. It will be the first of four M-1 U.S. Challenge shows to appear on the network this year, sources with knowledge of the situation confirmed.
The deal is expected to be officially announced on Friday morning.
M-1 is best known as the company that manages the career of Russian MMA great Fedor Emelianenko, but a promotional arm has been running events in Europe and other parts of the world for over a decade.
Strikeforce and M-1 say Fedor negotiations ongoing; Jan. 29 fight "not set"
A deal to bring Fedor Emelianenko back to the Strikeforce cage has not been finalized, according to representatives from the California-based promotion and M-1 Global.
And while a matchup between Emelianenko and Strikeforce heavyweight Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva is possible, a Strikeforce official today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) a date is not set.
"It all depends where these negotiations take us," Strikeforce spokesperson Mike Afromowitz said.
An article going over some of the logistics of the return of The Last Emperor
Jerry Millen Parts Ways With M-1 Global
After two-and-a-half years with the company, Jerry Millen is no longer with M-1 Global.
According to a source close to M-1 Global, the separation was amicable and M-1 is open to working with Millen in the future.
The source told MMAFighting.com, "Jerry's role was in production" and "that the shift was M-1 wanting to move more functions from being outsourced to in-house" in Holland.
Overeem receptive to Emelianenlo fight and drug testing, but conditions apply
Alistair Overeem thinks it's a little fishy that Fedor Emelianenko is suddenly clamoring for a fight with him.
Emelianenko's reps at M-1 Global made headlines this week by announcing the Russian heavyweight wants a year-end meeting Overeem – and not Fabricio Werdum, who submitted him Emelianenko back in June.
But Overeem, Strikeforce's current heavyweight champion, contends M-1 is playing "tricks" with the public to cut in line for a crack at his belt.
Evgeni Kogan Calls Report Of M-1 Global Collapse "Totally Made Up"
The mixed martial arts community has been waiting for the other shoe to drop after top ranked heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko suffered his first defeat in nine years at the hands of Fabricio Werdum on Showtime's June 26 Strikeforce card in San Jose. While the fighter will likely rebound, what about Strikeforce? Or M-1 Global -- who may have placed all their financial eggs in the Russian's basket? According to a report from MMA Fighting, "The Last Emperor's" promotional organization "is in disarray" after the former PRIDE champion's defeat, even closing its head office in the Netherlands as investors begin to jump ship at the prospect of M-1 losing their negotiating power. UFC President Dana White, who was obsessed with the acquisition of Emelianenko, has publicly stated he now has "zero interest" in signing the WAMMA kingpin, who lost some of his mystique following the Werdum loss. From blank checks to "no thanks" is a tough spot to be in from a bargaining standpoint, especially with just one fight remaining on Emelianenko's current Strikeforce contract. Yet M-1 Global's Director of Operations Evgeni Kogan is not giving the article much credence, telling Luke Thomas at Bloody Elbow the report is "100-percent made up."
Report: Collapse and "Panic" at M-1 Global, Head Office Allegedly Closed
I'd be willing to wager a healthy sum of money this news - if true - makes Scott Coker relieved:
Specifically, sources with knowledge of the situation say M-1 Global has closed its head office in the Netherlands, that some of M-1's investors have already cut ties with the organization, that officials within M-1 know they've lost most of their negotiating power, and that overall, according to one source, the people at M-1 are "panicking."
Netherlands office: Although M-1 Global was widely perceived in the United States as a Russian company because of its close ties to Fedor, it actually considered its office in the Netherlands to be the global headquarters. But that's not the case anymore, as the Netherlands office has ceased to exist. M-1 Global knows it can't count on as much income from Fedor in the future as it could in the past, and closing the Netherlands office was a cost-cutting move. As mixfight.nl first reported, the employees of M -1 Netherlands no longer work with the organization, although it's not clear what will happen to Dutch fighters with M-1 contracts.
Losing investors: During Fedor's reign as the sport's heavyweight king, M-1 Global had some wealthy businessmen it could count on when it needed an infusion of cash. Basically, these were businessmen who were willing to lose money on an investment in M-1 just because they liked being associated with the toughest man in the world. But Fedor no longer has that allure, and as a result those investors have signaled to M-1 that they won't be infusing any more cash in the promotion.
Fedor Became A Thorn In UFC's Side
So he says. "UFC is a money making machine. The most important thing for this organization is a brand and it's marketing. They have a couple of good fighters and there are also some very good champions; but they are trying to keep everyone at the same level. The most important thing for them is the promotion, not the fighters. I think that they lack a respect for their fighters. As for me, I became a thorn in their side... We are constantly negotiating, but only during recent time the Americans began to show some respect. The dialogue between us is completely different right now. They are more interested in our opinion."
M-1 Claims Fedor Is MMA's Highest-Paid Fighter
Last year Fedor Emelianenko disappointed a lot of mixed martial arts fans when he turned down a contract offer from the UFC and decided to stick with his own promotion, M-1 Global, and fight on co-promoted cards with Strikeforce. One of the reasons that move seemed so baffling is that the UFC was reportedly offering Fedor an enormous contract that would have made him the highest-paid fighter in the sport.
But according to M-1, Fedor is already the highest-paid fighter in the sport.
M-1 Global, Strikeforce come to terms; Emelianenko vs. Werdum set for June 26
Fedor Emelianenko (31-1 MMA, 1-0 SF) and M-1 Global will once again co-promote an event with Strikeforce.
While there had been some concern the two promotions would be unable to reach an agreement as to the terms of a future fight card, Strikeforce today announced that Emelianenko's return to the cage has finally been set.
As has long been rumored, Emelianenko will face Fabricio Werdum (13-4-1 MMA, 2-0 SF) at a June 26 co-promoted event at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.
The main card airs live on Showtime.
M-1 Global says Emelianenko available in June, waiting on Strikeforce to green light
When will Fedor Emelianenko fight again? Never has such a simple question required such a complex answer.
While Emelianenko is currently under contract with M-1 Global, who also have a co-promotion agreement with Strikeforce, the organizations are currently in a holding pattern as they address disagreements that arose from the November event "Fedor vs. Rogers."
But M-1 Global president Vadim Finklechtein recently insisted that Emelianenko could appear in a co-promoted show as soon as June. He's just waiting on the green light from his Strikeforce business partners.
M-1's Finkelchtein addresses Boon's "rubbish," apologizes for Overeem comments
While U.S. mixed martial arts fans may not be extremely familiar with the figures involved, the rivalry between M-1 Global president Vadim Finkelchtein and Golden Glory co-owner Bas Boon is nothing new.
Quite the contrary, the two have traded verbal jabs since the heyday of PRIDE, and neither is much a fan of the other.
But recently those jabs turned into knockout punches as Boon took to the Internet with an open letter that accused M-1 Global of ties to organized crime, death threats and patently avoiding a fight for its chief client, Fedor Emelianenko.
Coker: Relationship with M-1 Global strong, Emelianenko news "in a couple days"
When it became apparent that Strikeforce's second show on network television would be held without the presence of heavyweight superstar Fedor Emelianenko, numerous theories were put together by a variety of MMA observers.
All of them seemed to spell certain doom for the partnership between Strikeforce and M-1 Global, the company that represents Emelianenko and of which he is a partial owner.
But Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that the relationship with M-1 Global is still in fine shape, and he said he's in the final stages of negotiations for Emelianenko's next Strikeforce co-promoted fight.
"I can tell you this: we've been having really good dialogue with M-1 Global and (M-1 Global president) Vadim Finkelchtein, and I think we're in the final stages of buttoning everything up to make that happen again," Coker said. "I think we'll have an announcement soon on that, but I feel very confident we'll be promoting Fedor here in the near future."
Rumors have run rampant that the business ties between the Strikeforce and M-1 Global have soured since the two companies co-promoted this past November's "Fedor vs. Rogers" event.
Coker admitted there were a few items that needed to be addressed, but he felt the situation was anything but critical.
"When I dealt with companies in Japan (during my time with K-1), it's the same thing," Coker said. "You have cultural differences, and you have expectations. When expectations and the cultural differences meet with the cultural differences here and the expectations of an American company, sometimes there's some differences, and there's some things that we needed to button up.
"We're at the 11th hour of getting this done, and I think in a couple of days we'll have something to announce."
While it's certainly too late to work out a potential late addition to April 17's "Strikeforce: Nashville" show, Coker said he doesn't expect Emelianenko to stay out of commission for too long.
"It depends how long it takes to button everything up, but I would say sometime in the later part of the second quarter or beginning part of the third quarter, you'll see Fedor back in the cage fighting on a co-promotion between Strikeforce and M-1 Global," Coker said. "Depending on how long it takes to button things up – I mean, he's going to need what, 60 or 70 days to get ready – that will determine when he fights."
And when Emelianenko does return, Coker said it won't necessarily be on CBS.
"The rumors that I hear about 'he has to fight on CBS' are absolutely untrue," Coker said. "We have a good relationship with Showtime. Eventually, Fedor will be in the pay-per-view business with M-1 and Strikeforce and CBS and Showtime collectively contributing. There's not a certain media partner that he has to fight on. That's never been part of his contract, so that's all just speculation and rumors."
So it appears Strikeforce may be involved in another Emelianenko fight sooner rather than later. And perhaps most importantly for those vested in the future of the California-based promotion, Coker said the financial success of Strikeforce does not rest on the shoulders of "The Last Emperor."
"Our company is not built off of one athlete," Coker said. "Our company, we have some amazing athletes on our roster now, and we've got some of the best fighters in the world. I think they can compete against anybody. Fedor is an amazing athlete. I've followed his career for many years. Fedor is Fedor, and he's an amazing asset, but our company is not built financially off of just one guy.
"Believe me, my guys are very smart about building a model that works for us and works for M-1 Global. I think that we're at that point where that had to be looked at. We looked at it. We're not going to put all of our eggs into one basket and roll the dice with one guy. We're built for longevity. This is not a sprint; this is going to be a long-distance race."
Vadim Finkelstein clears the air on Mousasi leaving M1 and Fedor's contract negotiations
If you can sit there and pretend like the name 'Vadim Finkelstein' doesn't sound like some end boss on Castlevania, then you need to reevaluate your childhood. A few weeks ago, Gegard Mousasi left M-1 Global due to reasons that are still unknown (or entirely too complicated to comprehend). Fedor's recent contract negations has led conspiracy theorists to develop complex scenarios in which M-1 Global would take over the Strikeforce brand in international markets. In a recent interview, Vadim Finkelstein of M-1 Global clears the air on what exactly is going on with Fedor, Mousasi and M-1 Global.
"The problem isn't there. The fight will take place. We're planning on showing the bout in over 100 countries. For all of that to go smoothly we had to postpone the event. Unfortunately I do not know the date yet. It's most likely going to be in early May. The bout is also postponed because of some other contract issues. Obviously there are always disagreements and technical questions, but everybody deals with those."
Fedor's a professional; he needs to know the specific date in order to come out in perfect condition. When he finds out that exact date he will start gathering the camp so that he may come out at his peak. He never stops training though, he always stays in shape.
Mousasi has never had a contract with M-1. If that was the case, he would not have been able to simply leave the organization. Where did he go? He still has his contracts with Strikeforce and Dream. M-1 was helping him grow. Mousasi has always been friends with us and Fedor and in return we were helping him go forward. His action was a surprise to me. I plan on meeting with him next week and finding out what's wrong. We used to say that Mousasi is an M-1 fighter, because he was starting in our organization. I'm sure that on our M-1 Challenge and M-1 Selection tournament he will not be the only fighter of that level.
Rumors About Fedor Emelianenko Fighting Alistair Overeem Mounting As Strikeforce Does Nothing to Clarify
that Strikeforce will run an event in Nashville, Tennessee on 4/17 with Jake Shields vs. Dan Henderson as the main event, along with Bobby Lashley (and Herschel Walker?) on the fight card. Fedor is not expected to appear at the event.
Henderson vs. Shields should be fine and I don't see how Fedor on the fight card would have been a huge plus. Sure, it would be nice to see him fight Alistair Overeem, but I've always counted on that fight happening in DREAM because of the amount of money that K-1 could put up to make that fight happen. A suggestion perhaps - have the fight happen in Japan on the same day as a Strikeforce CBS event and just air the taped fight on the CBS telecast that same day.
What Does Gegard Mousasi Leaving M-1 Global Mean for Fedor Emelianenko and Strikeforce?
For me personally, Mousasi's break with M-1 Global raises the hope that Fedor Emelianenko himself will reconsider his relationships with them at the end of his current two fight deal with them.Mousasi is his own man, and has said in the past that he's not especially close to Fedor. But fans can hope this is the first crack in the wall that has been keeping the world's #1 heavyweight out of the world's #1 promotion.