Strikeforce and top ranked heavyweight “The Last Emperor” Fedor Emelianenko’s (31-2) management M-1 Global are in negotiations to schedule the multiple time Russian Sambo Champion’s date to fulfill the one remaining fight on his current Strikeforce contract. “The Last Emperor” is set to face BJJ and Judo black belt “Bigfoot” Antonio Silva (14-2) some time in the early months of 2011.
The promotion initially was trying to schedule the heavyweight meeting as the main event of its January 29 card, but has not been able to reach an agreement with M-1 Global. Fedor’s management was in disagreement with the initial terms of his final contracted fight with Strikeforce, as they wanted him to first avenge his first round Arm Triangle Choke loss to Fabricio Werdum (14-4-1) in June. The fight was considered one of the biggest upsets of 2010 and caused an upheaval in the top heavyweight rankings.
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker said of the M-1 negotiations, “You know how these things are, they go back and forth. We send them documents; they send them back…They want changes; we want changes. I’m just trying to get the lawyers to hurry and finish it up so we can make some great fights.” He continued, “It’s hard to talk about opponents. Normally, you talk to someone about opponents only after you have a contract with somebody. We’re working through the final stages of the deal. We are not there yet. I wish we were.”
Fedor has not stepped into the cage in over six months, some say largely due to his management’s unyielding determination to enhance “The Last Emperor”‘s legacy with ideal match-ups and ensure premium contractual accommodations. This summer Emelianenko was approached by UFC President Dana White and offered a contract with the top MMA organization in the world. Despite the UFC’s offering of an unprecedented salary, allowing Fedor to concurrently compete in Russian Sambo, and advertise his management team on his fight shorts, the Russian M-1 Global management team would not agree to the terms unless they were given co-promotion of any event featuring “The Last Emperor”. Unsurprisingly, Dana White said no. Further talk of Fedor coming to the UFC has seemingly halted altogether.
“Bigfoot” Antonio Silva is fresh off a second round TKO win over world class kickboxer “MAK” Mike Kyle (14-8-1) at Strikeforce: Henderson vs. Babalu II earlier this month. The heavyweight is more than willing to take on “The Last Emperor” whether it be in January or any other month. He is ready to fight. The mammoth Brazilian’s manager Alex Davis told Sherdog, “”We don’t have a bout agreement in place or anything like that, but [Fedor vs. Silva has] been the plan for a while now. Junior’s attitude is that whoever turns up in front of him, he’s fighting. We don’t exactly [know] the status of the negotiations between Strikeforce and M-1, but [Silva is] preparing for Fedor. Junior makes it clear that he’ll fight anybody.”