Dear M-1 Global,
I know that you don’t know me, and I really don’t know who you are either. What I do seem to notice, however, is that you seem hellbent on ruining the career of the greatest mixed-martial artist of all time with pettiness and ridiculous claims.
As a sports fan, I totally get it. Contract renegotiation is apart of the sport. You’re in there to make sure that your fighter gets the best possible deal so that you, in return, get the best possible deal. Baseball, basketball, football; they all do the same thing. Albert Pujols reportedly just turned down a $30 million dollar per year contract by a team in favor of playing the field to see if he could get a better deal. I also understand that it’s not just about the money. If Pujols takes a contract for significantly less, not only does he hurt his own pockets, but also the pockets of his agent and literally every other baseball player for the next 10 years.
It’s the same thing with Fedor Emelianenko. When he signed with Strikeforce he was the premier heavyweight in the world. He was unbeaten in a decade and desereved to be paid top dollar. The word was he was getting $1 million per fight from Affliction and you had no reason to expect less. That part I totally understand.
Where the disconnect comes for me is after the fight.
Why must every fight seemingly involve a contract renegotiation? It’s not just with Strikeforce either. The talk surrounding your deal with the UFC was at first unwaiveringly favoring that Dana White and the UFC were absolutely trying to screw you guys. The word is that he wanted to pay you nothing (because that’s what he thought you were worth in the American market) and basically own the “Fedor” brand. When Dana White came out to play damage control and claim that it was your camp that was being unreasonable, most MMA fans didn’t believe a word coming out of his mouth. “How could the number 1 fighter in the world NOT want to fight for the UFC? It’s got to be Dana messing this all up.”
At least, that’s what I thought the first time. How’s the old saying go? Fool me once, shame on you…? Something to that effect.
After signing with Strikeforce, Fedor’s contract disputes have become the stuff of MMA blog fodder (like this post). Since signing, Fedor has fought 3 times and had his contract renegotiated twice. Once after defeating Bret Rogers and once after his first loss to Fabricio Werdum. Not only were those contracts renegotiated, the original deal that was signed was a 3-fight deal. So that’s 2 renegotations on an original 3 fight contract.
Again, I understand that you’re looking to protect your brand, but the point I’m getting at is that there will be no brand to protect if these shenanigans keep up. A large percentage of American MMA fans aren’t aware of Fedor Emelianenko’s accomplishments in PRIDE. Whether or not that’s their own fault about not being educated is another battle entirely. The point is that most fans aren’t going to be “wowed” at defeating a prime Minotauro Nogueria or a prime Mirko CroCop because they can’t identify with those characters. All they see now are shells of those former fighters. And I don’t mean that in a disrespectful way, but rather that age and fight wear have caught up with them.
It’s bad enough that we have only seen Fedor fight on American television 3 times in 3 years, but now you’ve gone from being difficult to being completely out of your damn mind.
“We believe that they used the forbidden psychological technologies.”
Trainer of Fedor Emelianenko convinced that illegal methods of psychological warfare were used against the Russian. According to trainer Vladimir Voronov, both athletes have received various “charges” of hypnosis before the fight.
“ It seems that everything is not just right, and they used certain technologies,” said Voronov to Life Sports. “Certainly not those that would see by the naked eye. Most likely, it was psychological technologies that worked on both fighters at a distance from the audience.
That is why Fedor was just not like himself during the fight.”
Oh, so that’s why Fedor wasn’t looking good. He was under a trance from an evil Brazilian witch doctor, apparently.
Whether Voronov’s comments are the minority view of M-1 Global or wether Fedor believes those to be completely accurate, things like that don’t fly in America. America has a hard enough time getting MMA to be recognized as a legitimate sport. Comments like that probably don’t do much to hurt the blossoming sport, but it certainly doesn’t go out of it’s way to vouche that the premier heavyweight is living in the same dimension as the rest of humanity.
The fact that Fedor didn’t even say that is sort of beside the point at this juncture. It seems that you — yes, I’m still talking to you M-1 Global — have completely lost control of the public image that is potrayed. Couple this with the rampant steroid accusations that were lobbed against Alistair Overeem and “Bigfoot” Silva, and it seems like you’re hellbent on destorying whatever credibility is left.
“Think about it, how can the normal human-being gain 10 kg in 24 hours? There is something fishy here,” Michkov asserted. “The truth is, all our fighters, I am talking about Russian fighters here, that are fighting under M-1, train on their natural abilities. Of course, they take vitamins, but that’s it. At the same time, all the foreign fighters, I think about 99% of them, are taking chemicals. Obviously it was not a problem for Silva to make a weight. He weighted 264 pounds in the day of the weigh-ins, and the next day, he was already over 280, he gained 10 kg…Its very hard to fight with opponent like this.”
Pile on the fact that after Fedor retired he was promptly unretired by both Strikeforce president Scott Coker and M-1 spokesman Vladim Finkelstein and as an MMA fan I’m left scratching my head.
What is it that you’re wanting to do with Fedor’s career? Becuase it’s certainly not break him into the mainstream of middle America.
Please, for the sake of Fedor, his legacy, and whatever “brand” he has left, let the man retire and go out on his own terms.