Fedor Emelianenko and his management team/business partners, M-1 Global, called a press conference in Anahiem, CA, today at 1:00 PM PT to address the Affliction situation and ongoing rumors regarding the legendary heavyweights' future.
The rest of it is a bit hazy.
M-1 President Vadim Finkelchtein acknowledged that the UFC had made Emelianenko a very good offer, but insisted that the sticking point in negotiations remains the co-promotional terms; M-1 wants to co-promote shows and the UFC doesn't -- at least, not since getting burned in a fighter exchange with PRIDE back in 2003.
"The UFC made an offer that was a very good offer," Finkelchtein said. "We are open. We do want to work with the UFC. We do want to work with other promotions. I'm going to tell you that we're only going to work under co-promotion conditions."
In what may have been a bit of posturing designed to push the UFC, Finkelchtein indicated that the organization was ready to move forward with other deals and has been involved in ongoing talks with other organizations, including Strikeforce, as first broken over the weekend right here at FiveKnuckles.com.
"We're not going to wait," Finkelstein said. "We have to move forward. It might be that very soon we will be able to announce a deal with another promotion."
A source close to Emelianenko's camp has informed FiveKnuckles.com that Emelianenko has received an offer from Strikeforce which includes a non-exclusive contract for between $500,000 and $700,000 per fight, guaranteed exposure on CBS shows and a cut of any PPV event he was a part of.
It's unclear at this time whether Fedor's management team is posturing with their comments at today's press conference in order to squeeze what they can out of the UFC in negotiations, or if they are portraying an accurate picture of what's going on behind the scenes, but the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle. As we reported yesterday through a source close to the camp, the two sides are said to be close to an agreement with an announcement coming as soon as Friday.
MMAJunkie.com is now reporting that a source close to the UFC is stating that UFC officials have devoted "much of their resources" in an attempt to sign Emelianenko by Friday's media call, corroborating information first reported by the L.A. Times and FiveKnuckles.com.