Heavyweight sensation Fedor Emelianenko will reportedly become a free agent next week, according to a new ESPN Magazine article which discusses the former Pride championâ€™s departure from M-1 Global:
“Apy Echteld, one of Emelianenko’s agents, confirmed what a source close to the situation previously told The Magazine: M-1 Global and Emelianenko will part ways some time in the next week, making the Russian a free agent. Divorce negotiations are ongoing right now, with a formal announcement likely for in the next few days. ‘Officially, yes, Fedor will be a free agent,’ Echteld says.”
This means that Emelianenko could soon be available to fight against the legally troubled Randy Couture, though the article points out obvious obstacles to the long-awaited matchup taking place:
“Of course, the UFC would have to be willing to re-open negotiations with Emelianenko’s management. Previous talks dragged on for almost a year before falling apart amid plenty of name-calling and finger-pointing from both sides. UFC president Dana White was vocal in pinning the blame on Emelianenko’s team, saying he never once spoke or met with the fighter.”
Things end on a positive note however, as both sides of the table appear to be open to making the dream match a reality:
“Would the head of the UFC be willing to enter the Fedor fray again? ‘Absolutely, 100 percent, in a heartbeat,’ says White. ‘People think he’s the bestâ€”I don’t, not even close. But if it’s somehow possible, I would make it happenâ€¦ As much as we’ve gone back and forth on this, I would sign Fedor and do everything possible to get Randy in the octagon with him. I’d do anything, because a., it’s a great fight and b., I think Randy would smash Fedor'”
“We’re open to a discussion,” says Echteld. “If everybody is willing to put a little wine in the water, then we have something to work with. There is space for this to happen.”
At this point in the game, it seems cruel to tempt fans with the possibility of Fedor vs. Couture actually happening, so hopefully this news turns into something much more tangible in the weeks to come.