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Fedor’s Possible Return Seems More And More Likely

UFC

Vadim Finkelchtein, the manager for Fedor Emelianenko, recently appeared on Submission Radio to discuss the much-talked about return of “The Last Emperor.”

Emelianenko retired from MMA in in 2012 after a third consecutive win. But, the 38-year-old has appeared to find that itch again to compete.

He lost three straight from 2010-11 in Strikeforce, falling to Dan Henderson, Antonio Silva and current UFC champion Fabricio Werdum. Overall, Emelianenko is 34-4 in his career with one no-contest.

Below is a complete transcription of the interview, as Finkelchtein touches on any possible co-promotion with Bellator or the World Series of Fighting, Dana White, a bout with Randy Couture and allegations of illegal drug use:

On if Vadim is interested in a co-promotion deal with WSOF for a potential Fedor fight

“Well, when it comes to M-1 we are not really interested in any kind of co-promotion. M-1 is a self-contained, European promotion which has no less than 12 shows a year, and this number is about to grow every year.”

“Well, actually we can talk about this. It depends on many things. It’s complicated to make a co-promotion. It’s a hard thing. It’s about money, and when it comes to Fedor, it’s only his choice. He has a very wide choice of MMA organizations in the world, and who will make a better offer to him will get Fedor.”

Seeing as M-1 co-promoted with Strikeforce in the past, if he would consider co-promoting with Scott Coker and Bellator on a card with Fedor?

“I don’t think that a co-promotion with Bellator is possible. The other time when we co-promoted with Strikeforce [it was] because Fedor had a contract with M-1. Now it’s a different story. And, well to repeat what I said before, I want to say that M-1 don’t really need any co-promotion.”

On if the negative experience and failed negations with Dana White (from the meeting on the island) in the past will have an impact on Fedor coming to the UFC

“Well I don’t think that story can influence somehow Fedor’s decision to choose UFC or any other MMA promotion. If they will make a good offer to him that will be good for himself, then he can accept this. Also Bellator can make a better offer. So I don’t think that situation can influence it somehow.”

On if Fedor has any negative feelings towards Dana White

“Dana talked a lot. [He] talked a lot about Fedor, about Vadim, and he talked bad. But Fedor understands that it all was just PR. He’s not in a bad relations with Dana and he doesn’t feel anything bad about him.”

On if Vadim would be open to selling M-1 Global to Dana White as he expressed in a previous interview he was open to the idea a number of years back when Dana offered to buy it but had no power to sell it

“It was a completely different situation then. We had some financial problems then. And now I’m not going to sell M-1 to anywhere because we are growing and developing. We have no less than 12 events a year, and the next year we are going to have 14 or 16 events. We have a lot of sponsors, we have support, and we started to make the “M-1 arena” for 3000 people in St Petersburg. So it’s no more financial problems and no matter for me to sell to M-1.”

On if the new Rebook deal will be a problem when the UFC will sign Fedor due to loss of sponsorship money

“I’m not sure, but I don’t think it’s going to be a big problem because I think Rebook is interested in Fedor as well as the UFC, and I think if they really want this they will find some ways.”

On if UFC is the most likely company to sign Fedor

“Well I think UFC have a big chance to sign Fedor. It depends on what offer they will make. If Dana would not only talk, but do some things [and] will make a good offer to Fedor, they have a big chance then.”

On if Fedor is still open to fighting Randy Couture

“From my point of view this fight would be interesting. They are both legends and great fighters, but I can’t talk about Fedor. I think that can be interesting for him because years ago it was interesting for him.”

The level of competition that Fedor would fight upon his return and if he would pursue a title belt of have showcase fights

“Before he decided to retire, Fedor was working hard, training and fighting a lot during his whole career, and he was tired, both physically and mentally. So he decided himself [that] it was time to stop. And that was a common decision, and I was doing my best to make him come back. Now he decided to come back, but he never stopped training. He always gave master-classes, always had sparring, and so on. So his physical form is very good now. He didn’t lose anything. All he needs now is some time to get ready to get prepared, because I see fire in his eyes. He is ready mentally to fight. All he needs is to take some training and he will be able to beat any fighters and the strongest fighters in the world.”

Thoughts on Khabib Nurmagomedov saying “I hope Fedor understands that MMA has changed a lot

“Fedor never actually never left MMA, he just didn’t fight. He was always involved. He saw the level of the fighters, he saw the level of the champions, and well he was involved. He didn’t miss anything. He has trained constantly and been self-active. Furthermore, he had never used any kind of doping. All of his power and all of his strength was gained by the hard work only. So this vacation only even benefited him because he didn’t have all that condition downfall that it’s users typically experience when they stop using it.”

If Vadim was upset with Joe Rogan’s comments about Fedor and PED’s

“Well, actually we never put a big attention on that PR tricks, and Joe Rogan’s words were those kind of PR things. I am a friend of Fedor, I was his manager, and I know he never used any doping. People even asked him “why don’t you use this? Why don’t you take this medicine?” and so on, but he never did this. He just ate healthy food, trained a lot, and stayed healthy. He never used any doping.”

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