Negotiations between Strikeforce and M-1 Global regarding the contract of top heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko went on for what seemed like an eternity.
But with the announcement of Strikeforce’s upcoming heavyweight tournament beginning on February 12, a new deal has finally been reached allowing “The Last Emperor” to return to the cage.
Following his first loss in nearly 10 years to Fabricio Werdum in June, Emelianenko’s Strikeforce contract had only one fight left on it. According to MMAWeekly.com, Fedor’s new deal now includes a total of four fights, which would include the entire Grand Prix if Fedor makes it to the finals plus one more fight following the tournament.
According to Fedor’s manager Vadim Finkelstein, Showtime was an integral part in getting the contract signed. “It just all came together where everyone was satisfied with what needed to happen, and what needed to be worked out to get the deal done,” Finkelstein told MMAWeekly.
Finkelstein stated that executive vice president at Showtime, Ken Hershman, should receive much of the credit for mediating the negotiations.
“A lot of the credit goes to Ken Hershman from Showtime for stepping in and working with all the parties, and making sure all the parties needs from our side and from Strikeforce’s side were met. We all kind of came to a point where we reached an understanding, and Hershman was able to bring everybody together.”
Emelianenko returns to Strikeforce after more than a seven month long layoff when he takes on Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva on February 12 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.