Sports

Details of Fedor-UFC Negotiations Send Mixed Signals

It is now time to officially end the Fedor-UFC talk. Rumors swirled all day on Thursday in regards to negotiations. Regardless of who is right and who is wrong, the bottom line here is that MMA fans are disappointed once again.

I have slammed Dana White in the past for his inability to sign Emelianeko. As one of the biggest companies in the world you get the deal done period. The deal offered to Fedor sends mixed signals. The deal is very generous, at the same time it is not the blow away deal UFC fans were hoping would get it done.

However, it takes two to tango. Fedor obviously has no desire to tango and probably never will. It is time for all of us to move on.

For the second time in the last several years, MMA fans have had their hearts broken once again by the Last Emperor and UFC. I have been a Fedor fan for years, but at this point I have to ask how serious he is about fighting the best competition in the world. How can someone who claims to be the best pound for pound fighter in the world be satisfied with competitors that probably wouldn’t win the Ultimate Fighter?

MMANews.com reports UFC offered Fedor.

– The UFC offered Fedor a 6 fight, 30 million dollar contract. That’s 5 mil a fight
– The UFC offered Fedor an immediate title shot
– Lesnar/Fedor would be the biggest PPV in MMA history (we assume), and the UFC offered M-1 Global a cut of the PPV on top of Fedor’s purse.
– Fedor was free to wear as many M-1 logoed items as he wished.
– The UFC also relented on allowing Fedor to compete in combat sambo.

Immediately after this report surfaced, several MMA journalists reported that the deal was much different. Allegedly the above deal was just UFC spin. MMA author and journalist Jonathon Snowden reported the following deal.

“The numbers being floated there are a little misleading. The UFC’s offer of $30 million over six fights isn’t a guarantee. The number is based on Zuffa’s projections of what Fedor’s take of the PPV money would be, and the numbers they are projecting are based on selling a ton of PPV’s. The actual guarantee for Fedor is much more modest. It’s true that if business stays at record levels Fedor could walk away with $30 million. But that is no guarantee.”

So who do you believe with this one? At this point, I don’t really care. I just want a deal done and I want to see Fedor fight in UFC. I have no doubt that UFC was serious about signing Fedor. If you are the elite company you claim to be, why not make a deal that he can’t refuse? Does anyone not believe that Fedor vs. UFC’s top stars would not shatter records?

At the same time, what is Fedor’s culpability in this? I don’t think there are enough details about the exact co-promotional expectations of M1. Fedor’s business management is getting blasted by MMA fans. However, in the end Fedor is a professional athlete that can make his own decisions. Even Fedor’s own brother has been critical of Fedor’s management. The bottom line here is that Fedor can make Fedor Emelianeko in UFC happen or not.

I think this issue about the M1 promotional demands is just a smoke screen. I think it comes down to fear of the unknown. I think Fedor and his management are scared to be exposed as a fraud. It is easy for Fedor to sit back and pick his opponents now. I think the bottom line here is that Fedor would rather fight Brett Rogers or Tim Sylvia than Frank Mir, Brock Lesnar, or Cain Velasquez.

I don’t expect Fedor to sign for nothing, but I do expect him to be a little more flexible here. I am tired of even this whole pound for pound best. This would be tantamount to a great quarterback turning down an NFL deal to stay in the UFL. No matter what his record or stats are, I don’t think anyone would call him the best overall quarterback in football.

Deep down I think if Fedor isn’t signing with UFC now, he is never going to sign. I can understand UFC not wanting to set a new financial barometer for its fighters, but a fighter like Fedor comes along once in a lifetime. The planets in the fighting world aligned for this to happen now. I truly feel that this was a now or never deal between UFC and Fedor Emelianeko.

If Fedor Emelianeko doesn’t want to fight the best competition in the world, it is time to move on from the Fedor hype. If Zuffa wants to continue playing games with this, just move on already. In the end it looks like the only people serious about making this happen are the fans.

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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