Only minutes after celebrating Dan Henderson’s victory over Fedor Emelianenko, the questions immediately centered around Emelianenko’s MMA future. Will Fedor retire or will he fight again? If it is up to Strikeforce, he will fight again.
The second contract between Fedor, M1 Global, and Strikeforce expired 4:12 into Round 1 Saturday night. Yet, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker won’t let three straight losses stop him from re-signing Fedor to a new Strikeforce deal. Coker wants the “Last Emperor” back on Showtime.
“As far as fighting in Strikeforce, I hope we have them both back“, Coker told MMAFighting.com.
[adinserter block=”1″]Of course the negotiating leverage will be a lot different than the last couple of times that Fedor and his management team sat down with Scott Coker. Fedor signed an extension earlier this year which took him into the Heavyweight Grand Prix tournament. His payout was never disclosed (or at least I didn’t find it) for that fight, but Fedor did make a cool $1.5 million for 4:12 of work Saturday. He can kiss those numbers good bye.
There is also that minor change in ownership. Zuffa now owns Strikeforce and if their recent negotiations with Alistair Overeem’s management team are any indication of how this will go, M1-Global better check their egos at the door. M1 have been in a very advantageous position in past negotiations and have gotten additional promotional deals that no other management team has in Strikeforce. We all know how Dana White and Zuffa feel about co-promotion (specifically M1- Global), so the days of M1 walking into negotiations and bullying Strikeforce are over.
Strikeforce is on life support right now. Nick Diaz and Fedor are the company’s two biggest drawing cards and they are gone. Diaz is gone for good, and as of now the company has no Fedor. The new face of the company Dan Henderson is gone and probably heading into the UFC. Their heavyweight champion is gone. All that is left is Gilbert Melendez, Gina Carano, and Cris Cyborg Santos. Showtime sees the writing on the wall. I would not put it past Showtime to jump into negotiations and give Fedor a sweeter deal than anyone else coming off three losses would get from Strikeforce or the UFC.
But is it worth it? Okay, say you keep Fedor under contract. What do you do with him? Brett Rogers is gone. Alistair Overeem is gone. I don’t think anyone ever wants to see Fabricio Werdum fight again after the stunt he pulled against Overeem. Antonio Silva is an idea, but he could be tied up until mid-2012. Sam with Josh Barnett, who also has promotional limitations. Is it really worth it for Showtime and Strikeforce to pay Fedor seven figures to fight Chad Griggs and Valentijn Overeem?
I have heard some fans saying that the UFC should just pick him up and see what he has left. I don’t see that one happening now or ever. Fedor has been exposed and is well past his prime. He would be lucky to get past the mid-tier of UFC heavyweights like Cheick Kongo, Matt Mitrione, and Brendan Schaub. The Randy Couture fight would be intriguing but for all intensive purposes Couture is retired. Other than signing him to humiliate him, there is no sense in the UFC making a run at Fedor.
[adinserter block=”1″]Fedor told Gus Johnson on the Showtime broadcast that it is up to “God’s will” whether he will fight again or not. He later told reporters that he would like to continue fighting. Here is the thing with Fedor. The stoppage against Henderson was questionable, fair but questionable. The stoppage against Silva was definitely questionable, yet understandable. The loss to Werdum was legitimate but arguably a fluke. Until he goes in there and gets destroyed like Couture, Ken Shamrock, or Chuck Liddell, I say let him fight again.
And the Fedor watch begins…again!
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