There's plenty of anticipation as the end of the week approaches. That's when UFC president Dana White told ESPNRadio1100 that he'll have some answers. Affliction Clothing is back in the fold with the UFC but it leaves a huge unanswered question. What happened to all those fighter contracts? It's likely that the majority of contracts will come along in the deal, all except one, you guessed it, Fedor Emelianenko's. The guess here is that Fedor's deal is not exactly cost-effective and more importantly its only got one fight left on it. There's no way White and the Fertittas are working with Fedor and M-1 Global on a one-fight deal. Can't happen and won't happen. Plus it would be ridiculous to allow Fedor a chance to win the UFC heavyweight title from Brock Lesnar and walk off into the sunset.
We don't want to read too much into an initial statement, but Vadim Finkelchtein's opening salvo is filled with verbage that the UFC isn't going to like:
"This is the moment of truth that the UFC has talked about," Finkelchtein, Fedor's manager, said on the M-1 website. "Fedor and I are here in the States. If they (the UFC) want to come out and fly here, we are ready to conduct negotiations. Of course it still doesn't imply we are ready to accept any conditions they'll throw at us. We want to talk to the UFC about having Fedor compete against some of their fighters, but only within the framework of co-promotional efforts with M-1 Global."
Why make a public statement like this and provide ammunition to ruin a deal before negotiations have begun? "Co-promotional" should make every MMA fan shake in their boots.
Working out a deal with Fedor is unlike any in MMA history. Essentially you're dealing with a state-paid employee. It's the Russian way. Fedor doesn't have to work another day in his life, so money is really not the issue. It's a matter of respect and who wins the power battle.