Blame M-1, Not the UFC, If Fedor Emelianenko Isn't in the UFC

Cameron GidariCorrespondent IJuly 30, 2009

NEW YORK - JANUARY 20:  Heavyweight mixed martial arts champion Fedor 'The Last Emperor' Emelianenko of Russia attends the 'Day of Reckoning' press conference at Trump Tower January 20, 2009 in New York City.  (Photo by Joe Corrigan/Getty Images)

The details of the contract that the UFC supposedly offered Fedor Emelianenko are making their way around the Internet.

First, let us break down the contract to see just how significant the UFC's efforts to bring Fedor to the octagon are.


1) Six fights, $30 million total. That breaks down to $5 million a fight, not including bonuses like Fight of the Night.

This type of money would easily make Fedor the highest-paid MMA fighter and for the first time ever would put a fighter's earnings on par with that of some other major athletes. Not only does this show Fedor how much the UFC values him, but it also shows that the company is willing to set a dangerous precedent for fighter salaries to get him in the organization.


2) An immediate title shot.

If Fedor signs, he gets Brock Lesnar for the heavyweight title, no questions asked. Sure, the UFC would market the heck out of this fight, but can you imagine giving any other fighter an immediate title shot before establishing him with the casual fanbase with a tune-up fight?


3) M-1 Global would get a cut of the Lesnar/Fedor PPV revenue on top of Fedor's salary.

UFC 100 did 1.5 million PPV buys. A Lesnar/Fedor headline would crush that and would easily become the highest-grossing PPV in the UFC's history. They are willing to give M-1 a cut of that enormous paycheck. That's another few million dollars.


4) Fedor can wear M-1 Global apparel in the octagon.

The UFC banned Affliction clothing when the company thought about promoting fights. No such treatment for M-1 Global, who would get amazing exposure on said record-breaking PPV.


5) Fedor could still compete in combat sambo.

Randy Couture and Anderson Silva both wanted to fight outside of the UFC, and the UFC said no. These are two of the UFC's most recognizable champions, and the company would not accommodate their wishes.

Should Fedor win the heavyweight title, he would immediately be on par with Silva and Couture, and the UFC would still let him compete elsewhere while having the title. Even though combat sambo is not MMA, Silva wanted to box and was not allowed.


To recap, the UFC has essentially broken every rule and establishment that they have in order to sign Fedor. This mountain of a package should be enough to bring ANY fighter to the UFC.



M-1 Global has said that Fedor will not sign with the UFC unless M-1 can co-promote the events that he fights on.


Attention MMA fans: If you were upset that the UFC was not doing enough to sign Fedor, it is now time to turn your collective anger towards M-1 Global.

Were the UFC offering the same sort of contract to Fedor that they offer to every other fighter, I could understand M-1 balking. After all, they represent one of the most unique talents in the sport. However, the UFC has bent over backwards and made accommodations that are staggering.

You're telling me that M-1 cannot concede this one thing when the UFC is willing to concede so much?

It is unbelievable, and the UFC should walk away right now. Fedor can continue to fight mid-level heavyweights in Japan and Russia, while MMA fans are left to sit and wonder, what if?

Thank you, M-1 Global, for helping us realize who the real people are to blame in this saga. Jerks...