12.16.2007 - 12:28:00 AM -
Couture vs Fedor in October 2008?
According to Sherdog.com, Randy Couture (16-8, 13-5 UFC) says that he could possibly fight Fedor Emelianenko (26-1, 15-0 PRIDE) in October if the UFC won't co-promote the fight with M-1 Global:
"Unless the UFC wants to do a co-promotion with M-1 and make the Fedor fight happen, I'm going to have to wait 'til my contract expires," Couture told HDNet's Ron Kruk. "I have no intention of breaching that contract; that expires in July. My employment contract expires with them in October. So I would assume the soonest you'd see me fight Emelianenko would be in October."
If thats the truth then why wouldn't the UFC put that fight together? They have two options; co-promote an event with M-1 Global and sign the biggest fight in MMA history. I don't give a shit what anyone says, Chuck vs Wandy was the biggest fight 2 years ago, not now. The other option according to The Natural is that he wait out the length of his contract and apparently fight Fedor in October '08 under the M-1 Global banner.
MMA Weekly has this quote from Couture from last nights HDNet Fights:
"I am not retired," said Couture at the HDNet Fights show in Dallas, Texas. "I am waiting for my UFC contract to expire. I will fight Fedor Emelianenko."
12.11.2007 - 11:51:00 PM -
M-1 Global: Fedor vs Pedro Rizzo in April
According to Dave Meltzer, Monte Cox is close to signing a deal where Pedro Rizzo (16-7, 9-5 UFC) would fight Fedor (26-1, 15-0 PRIDE) in April in Las Vegas.
Monte Cox and the M-1 crew are in Dallas today in a closed-door meeting with Art of War to finalize a Fedor Emelianenko vs. Pedro Rizzo fight that would tentatively take place in Las Vegas in April. Money terms have been agreed and the meeting is to fnialize a deal and sign the contracts.
11.29.2007 - 2:12:00 PM -
First M-1 Global Event: February or March, Newark, NJ.
Sam Caplan got word that the first M-1 Global event could be in Newark, NJ at the Prudential Center in February or March. The Prudential Center is where UFC 78 was recently held. To wit:
ProElite.com has learned through multiple sources that M-1 Global is leaning towards holding their first pay-per-view event in the U.S. in Newark, NJ at the Prudential Center, the same venue that hosted UFC 78 earlier this month.
Officials from M-1 recently visited the Prudential Center and were impressed with the venue and are looking at booking a possible date in February or march.
- 2:02:00 PM -
Sam Caplan Interviews: Vadim Finkelstein, Turi Altavilla
Sam Caplan recently had two interviews with M-1 executive Vadim Finkelstein and Former PRIDE USA Vice President of Production and Marketing Turi Altavilla. Vadim confirmed Dana White's assumption that russian's are crazy. Turi's interview was great and revealed some of the interworkings of PRIDE and what could have possibly lead to the demise of the company.
Here's a snippet from the Turi Altavilla interview:
Q: Jerry Millen was certainly much-maligned in the months leading up to the sale of Pride. Two other names that have received criticism, and you've referred to them vaguely at times in this interview, were Hideki Yamamoto and Yukino Kanda. Do you feel the criticism that has been levied against them is fair?
TA: Ah (hesitates)... yeah, in a lot of ways I do. It's not a personal thing. I don't have anything against them personally. I worked with them for years. But to be honest I never quite understood why they were in MMA. I just never understood it. They did not have a passion for it. A lot of guys get into MMA because they are passionate about it and it drives the business. I live and breath MMA. Any successful promoter out there does. Look at Terry Trebilcock, Scott Coker, T.J. Thompson, even Dana (White). We all have a sickness to put in the hours we put in. It's because we love it.
Q: Last year at this time there were a lot of rumors about Pride's future and those rumors lasted up until the announcement was made on March 27. What was Pride's management telling its employees while all the rumors of its demise were circulating?
TA: Internally we were told that we didn't have anything to worry about and that decisions were going to be made that would guarantee Pride's existence as what we believed the top brand in MMA. And I truly believe that during Pride's existence it was the best brand in the world. But things didn't turn out the way anybody wanted them to. What we were told was that "You don't have to worry about the UFC. The UFC is not going to buy Pride."
But what ended up happening was that the Fertittas (the majority owners of the UFC) bought Pride and that was the distinction. And the original plan was that the Fertittas were going to own Pride and it was going to be run as a separate entity (and that) none of us on the staff had to worry about our jobs. We were told over and over and over not to worry. But I still worried. And I think that was maybe the original intention -- I'm sure even on the Fertittas side. I know that Lorenzo (Fertitta) is a big Pride fan. He's clearly a Pride fan. I wouldn't doubt that the original intention was to keep Pride intact but clearly that was not what happened.
While this is a good interview those damn russians dodged the good shit, here's a quick nugget:
Sam Caplan: Recent speculation has suggested that Hong Man Choi will be fighting Fedor on the card. Has an opponent for Fedor been determined? If so, can you name that opponent?
Vadim Finkelstein: Hong Man Choi is most likely to be Fedor's opponent for New Year's. There are other candidates, which we are not revealing at this time.
Read the rest of the article here to see just how crazy those russians are.
A Press Conference was held yesterday to announce the MMA show on New Years Eve that Fedor would be fighting in. Zach Arnold from Fight Opinion has the rundown on the press conference:
A press conference was held today by former PRIDE staff members to announce that there would be an MMA show on 12/31 at Saitama Super Arena. The promoters are labeling the event as being "Yarennoka! supported by M-1 Global Mixed Martial Arts." Takada, Sasahara, Saeki, Lenny Hardt, Kei Grand, Daisuke Sato, and major names from DSE's management past are involved in the show. Fighters announced included Fedor, Hayato "Mach" Sakurai, Shin'ya Aoki, Tatsuya Kawajiri, and Mitsuhiro Ishida. Photo mugshot of DSE management here.
Take notice of the NYE logo for Yarennoka, which uses the exact same font as the past DSE-produced Otoko Matsuri (Man Festival) shows did. Furthermore, the web page for Yarennoka is only a slightly modified format as compared to the old PRIDE web site.
The Yarennoka website and the Pride Official website look eerily similar as pointed out by Zach. The fonts for some of the multimedia appear to be identical as well. The Yarennoka image is at the top of this article and here are some of the old PRIDE Otoko Matsuri images from past shows (click the thumbnail to see the full image):
I also did some hunting and found this image on the PRIDE Official website (click the thumbnail for the image):
That image appears to be copyright Dream Stage Entertainment (DSE) the old parent company of PRIDE. Strangely enough it looks a lot like the logo from 2007 event but with a ? instead of a !. There have been many blurbs that this could be the new PRIDE or this could be a farewell to the PRIDE that so many loved.
M-1 Global president Monte Cox, whose promotion owns the rights to Emelianenko, confirmed late Tuesday that the Russian Sambo champion would be competing on the card. Emelianenko will be paid $1.5 million by the Japanese promotion. Cox, however, did not reveal what type of compensation M-1 Global will receive for lending out Emelianenko's services. An opponent for the former PRIDE heavyweight king was not named at the press conference.
Cox said that reports on MMAWeekly.com and Sherdog.com naming South Korean kickboxer Hong Man Choi - who stands 7-foot-2 and weighs in at more than 350 pounds - as Emelianenko's opponent were premature. Cox said Choi has neither been confirmed nor signed to face Emelianenko.
"Part of the deal is that they choose the opponent," Cox said. "They're choosing an opponent that makes sense for the Japanese market."
Cox said M-1 Global and Emelianenko would remain open to whichever opponent the Japanese promotion presents, Choi included. Cox did not comment on how this latest development might affect plans to have Emelianenko compete in February in the U.S. under M-1 Global's first official event.
The Yarennoka official website has the following fighters listed as possibly participants at the NYE event:
11.20.2007 - 9:44:00 PM -
The latests Fedor rumors
Yesterday Greg Savage broke bad and announced that Hong Man Choi could fight Fedor on New Years Eve in Japan on his radio show at Sherdog.com.
M-1 Global CEO Monte Cox said the organization couldn't work out a deal, but late last week, the Russian M-1 website (which is different from the official M-1 Global website) briefly posted a message saying Emelianenko was booked for a show on new years eve.
After talking to several sources today, I can tell you that all the talk is true. In fact, an official announcement that Fedor will be fighting on New Year's Eve could be made within the next 24-48 hours. However, it won't be M-1 Global that will be making that announcement.
Some of the people responsible for putting on PRIDE shows in Japan were already planning on doing a show on 12/31 and they've made a deal to essentially "rent" Fedor. This is the promotion that would be making the announcement.
M-1 Global will hold its press-conference on November, 21 which will be dedicated to the first event of the organization.
The event is scheduled to take place on New Year's Eve at the Saitama Super Arena. Mixfight M-1 will be represented by Vadim Finkelstein and Fedor Emelianenko.
www.mixfight.ru cought up with Fedor before his departure and asked him to comment on this situation with the fight on the Japanese soil that became kind of home to Fedor.
Among other questions Fedor was asked this: "You will fight again in Japan but do you feel sorry it won't be under the Pride banner anymore?"
Fedor said: "Pride was a great organization with the best fighters and I believe that now M-1 Global will become new Pride".
Other Russian athletes scheduled for this event are Alexander Emelianenko and Roman Zentsov.
The name of Fedor's opponent will be announced later.
So according to that the promotion that is going to be renting Fedor is M-1 Global. And really what the fuck did Sibling entertainment acquire when the bought M-1 and made it M-1 Global. It seems as though Vadim Finkelstein is running around making rogue deals and not letting M-1 Global know about it. And really what the fuck is the difference between M-1 Global and M-1 Mixfight. I'm more confused now than ever before.
10.26.2007 - 2:50:00 PM -
Fedor vs Jeff Monson in M-1 Global?
Sherdog.com is reporting that negotiations between Jeff Monson and M-1 global are on going for a possibly match up with perennial heavyweight king Fedor Emelianenko.
"The "Snowman" Jeff Monson, full of praise during an interview with roguemag.com, cited the "very good possibility of fighting the Russian" and also said he is "in the process of working through things with M-1.""
While Jeff Monson isn't Josh Barnett or another top 10 HW for that matter it will be good for Fedor to finally get back in the ring after about a years absence. Ultimately Fedor will take this but Jeff Monson has a good ground game, at least from the top anyway. Fedor's ground game is just slick and when he gets hold a limb its pretty much over. Fedor definitely has the better hands of the two but i think Monson is willing to absorb enough punishment to get inside and try to take him down. If Monson ends up on top I bet we'll see Fedor pull off a quick arm bar.
10.23.2007 - 11:06:00 AM -
Fedor Emelianenko officially signs with M-1 Global
Its been rumored for a couple of weeks now but yesterday Fedor Emelianenko held a press conference at Marc Ecko Enterprises in New York. He announced that he had signed a six fight, 2 year deal with M-1 Global, formerly M-1 Mixfight run by Fedor's manager Vadim Finkelstein. MMAJunkie.com has learned that M-1 is currently trying to secure a TV deal and that they will be announcing other fights on their roster in the next 7-10 days. Here's a few interesting comments about who Fedor could possibly fight and a an interesting contract clause:
"We're looking for the best opponents available (for Emelianenko)," said Monte Cox, one of MMA's top fighter agents who today was named chief executive officer of M-1 Global. "There's a couple guys who we heard became free. I don't know. It's just a rumor."
The tongue-in-cheek comment was likely in reference to Randy Couture, the UFC heavyweight champion who abruptly resigned from the organization earlier this month. UFC President Dana White continues to label it a retirement, though Couture says he will fight again. During media events this past weekend at UFC 77, White said he will not release Couture from his contract. Couture has two fights remaining on the deal, and White hinted that the matter will likely have to be settled by the courts.
When asked about Couture at today's press conference, Emelianenko admitted that he'd like to fight the 44-year-old UFC hall-of-famer.
"These days, he's the strongest fighter," Emelianenko said through a translator. "It would be an honor for me to fight him... whether it's in cooperation with the UFC or not."
As part of his new deal, Emelianenko will be allowed to fight outside the organization. Additionally, he requested - and received - a special clause in his contract that requires M-1 Global to offer the UFC heavyweight champion $1 million more than what the UFC offers for a fight with Emelianenko.
Emelianenko specifically mentioned that clause when a reporter asked him about rumors he was unwilling to fight certain opponents, such as Tim Sylvia, if he were to sign with the UFC.
"I hope (that clause) demonstrates how I am not afraid to fight anyone," Emelianenko said.
- 10:24:00 AM -
M-1 Global official press release.
CNN Money has a press release from Sibling Sports LLC., or Sibling Entertainment Group, or Sibling Theatricals, or what the hell ever the parent company's name is. I think they formed about 6 companies to make this happen, much like Zuffa formed Pride Worldwide Holdings when they purchased PRIDE FC.
As I posted earlier M-1 Global has appointed Monte Cox President and CEO of the newly rejuvenated promotion.
Heres a little snippet of the article:
NEW YORK, Oct. 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Sibling Entertainment Group Holdings, Inc. ["Sibling Holdings"] announced Sibling Theatricals, Inc. ["Sibling Theatricals"], a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sibling Entertainment Group, Inc., together with Garlin Holdings Limited as Managing Members, have formed Sibling Sports, LLC (a Delaware limited liability company) for the purpose of creating M-1 Global, LLC (a New York limited liability company), a new mixed martial arts organization.
In addition, Monte Cox, a 13-year veteran of the mixed martial arts industry, was named President and CEO of M-1 Global.
Sibling Entertainment Group, Inc. is the company with which Sibling Holdings has previously signed an Agreement of Acquisition and Plan of Reorganization, the closing of which is currently pending. (See "Note to Editor" below for an explanation of Sibling Holdings relationship to Sibling Entertainment Group, Inc.).
"We are excited to announce the formation of Sibling Sports, LLC and our new mixed martial arts organization M-1 Global," said Mitchell Maxwell, President and CEO of Sibling Holdings. "Mixed martial arts is the fastest growing sport in America. It is the boxing of the 21st century. We see our entry into sports entertainment as an integral part of our strategic plan to develop new and unique entertainment products worldwide."
"We have pulled together a world-class group of people to lead our new organization. Our new management team has extensive mixed martial arts experience in Europe, Russia, Asia and the US. We have developed a strategic alliance with SFX Media & Events, one of the premiere sports marketing, event management, and athlete management companies in the world," he said.
According to MMAHaven.com the new CEO of M-1 is none other then super agent Monte Cox. Monte Cox is best known for being the agent of Matt Hughes, Rich Franklin, and some of the other MFS (Miletich Fighting Systems) Elite fighters. Here's the entire story:
Who is the new CEO of M-1? None other than the largest super agent of American MMA fighters, Monte Cox..
What is Fedors contract worth? 5 fight deal for 12 million - 2 million a fight and a 2 million dollar bonus
What does Mark Cuban have to do with M-1? Nothing so far, but he is working on it so expect something in the future.
What TV contracts are they working on? HBO and Showtime. Nothing is signed yet but the UFC blew their chance.
Who will Fedor fight first? Some unspecified PRIDE heavyweights. All remaining PRIDE fighters have been released from their contracts after the closing of the PRIDE offices in Japan.
10.16.2007 - 10:12:00 AM -
Arona denies signing with M-1
It looks like the rumor that Ricardo Arona has signed with M-1 has been squashed. MMANews.com has a piece of a translated interview from Ricardo Arona that denies he has signed with the M-1 organization.
"I have not signed anything with M-1. I've heard rumors about it but no offer to fight against Fedor. To be honest I never heard of this event. I've gotten a few offers from the U.S., Canada and Japan, but I'm still weighing in my options before I sign. I'll probably have a contract to fight in December."
10.15.2007 - 10:26:00 PM -
Sam Caplan's Thoughts on Randy Couture
Sam Caplan of ProElite and 5 Oz. of Pain recently provided some great insight on the Randy Couture resignation situation. There has been a lot of debate throughout the internet on whether or not Randy Couture will be able to fight for another promotion in 9 months after the time lapses on his contract. Sam provides some great insight in this article.
There is growing speculation that Randy Couture will eventually resume his fighting career and will do so for a promotion outside of the UFC. Unless I'm missing something here, I don't think that's entirely possible unless something drastic happens.
Many people are assuming that Couture will be able to fight outside of the UFC after a recent clarification was made that he has not retired from MMA but has in fact resigned from the UFC. Couture's statement is perplexing because he has two fights remaining on his UFC contract. If he’s not retiring from MMA then how does he plan to compete again if his promotional rights are retained by the UFC?
It's possible that Couture knows he has no legal way of fighting for another promotion but is phrasing his departure as a resignation as opposed to a retirement so that the blame can be placed squarely on the shoulders of UFC management. By saying he is resigning as opposed to retiring, it limits the ability for how the UFC can spin the situation. It seems to me that he's drawn a line in the sand and rather than take his case to a court of law, he's taking his case to the public court of opinion. It's a savy move on his part considering that he's one of the most beloved figures in the sport. It certainly never hurts to have an outpouring of public support to back your cause.
It's been said by some that Randy could become a free agent when his contract expires in nine months and that a showdown with Fedor Emelianenko under the M-1 banner is likely. However, based on my limited knowledge of the structure of the UFC's contracts, a scenario in which Couture becomes a free agent and can compete for another promotion is not possible.
It's been explained to me that a Zuffa contract contains two provisions when it comes to the length of a contract: the term (time period) of the agreement and the number of bouts. In order for a contract to expire and for a fighter to become able to negotiate with other promotions, a fighter must satisfy both the term and the number of bouts.
5Oz. found the skinny on whats been going on with Ricardo Arona. According to MMA-Europe.net Arona has signed with M-1:
According to "Vale Tudo News", Brazilian ace Ricardo Arona (13-5-0) announced that he has signed a four fight deal with Russian organization M-1. The opponent(s), due to contractual issues, weren't revealed. Arona said that he is now focused in his debut, in December. When asked if the first fight would be with Fedor Emilianenko (26-1-0), Ricardo Arona smiled and kept his silence.
Ricardo Arona has fought Fedor before to a controversial decision lost in the RINGS organization. If this match doesn't materialize in December, then its a pretty good possibility it could happen further down the road.
All this talk of Randy Couture's so called retirement started the other day when The Fight Network announced that Fedor Emelianenko had committed exclusively to the new management of the M-1 organization. Since 1997 M-1 fight has been putting on fights in Russia under owner Vadim Finkelstein, who is also the manager of Emelianenko. Recently M-1 had been purchased by an unidentified american entertainment company. Many people have thought it to be Mark Cuban who just entered into the MMA forray. I thought it either to be PRIDE USA's backer Ed Fishman, Mark Cuban, or even possibly WWE owner Vince McMahon. But from what I've heard it won't be any of those people.
Emelianenko has been consider pound for pound the best fighter in MMA. After Zuffa bought PRIDE his status has been up in the air. His management team has been negotiating with UFC for a while now but both sides were sticking on a few key points. The UFC apparently offered Fedor $2 million per fight but were adament that he remain exclusive to the UFC and they didn't want him fighting in Sambo competitions. Fedor is a hero in his home nation of Russia where combat sambo is prominent sport. Fedor is a world champion in sambo and intends to compete in the World Championships this December. Those seemed to be the key sticking points as to why Fedor is now signed to compete with M-1.