Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Will Fedor's loss lead to the fall of M-1 Global?

MMA pipelines are leaking rumors of an M-1 downfall. The Holland-based mixed martial arts promotion has for long rested its success on the status of heavyweight star and M-1 part owner, Fedor Emelianenko. 
But, since Emelianenko's shocking loss to Fabricio Werdum at  Strikeforce and M-1's co-promoted 'Fedor vs. Werdum' event, Fedor's fight stock has experienced drastic losses in the rankings, publicity, and fan favor departments.
As a result, M-1 Global has become the center of a rumor mill that continues to leak word of a possible M-1 Global collapse.
Reports MMA Fighting:
Ten days after Fedor Emelianenko lost to Fabricio Werdum, Fedor’s promotional organization M-1 Global is in disarray as it attempts to adjust to a world in which Fedor is no longer considered the best fighter in MMA.Specifically, sources with knowledge of the situation say M-1 Global has closed its head office in the Netherlands, that some of M-1’s investors have already cut ties with the organization, that officials within M-1 know they’ve lost most of their negotiating power, and that overall, according to one source, the people at M-1 are “panicking.”
M-1 representative Evgeni Kogan denied additional claims that M-1 is "$15-20 million in the hole." Here's what Kogan had to say to Bloody Elbow:
Eh, that article is 100% made up. There is not an ounce of truth to it… There is no panic, Fedor retains his status in the sport (financially and in terms of perspective). To believe any different is to be out of touch with the business reality of MMA (or any other sport for that matter)… The head office in Holland is here and isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. As are the offices in Russia, Ukraine, US and the affiliates in Asia… M-1 remains healthy and has the same leadership and investors as it has had since 1997 (making it pretty much the longest running promotion out there)… We’re looking forward to promoting the Selection finals in Moscow on the 22nd and the Semis in AC on August the 7th. Challenge will take place in the fall.
M-1 is currently in the process of restructuring it's organization and relocating its offices. 
Pure coincidence? 
With the timing of it all, many will find this difficult to believe. If anything, it's easy to guess that M-1 Global, much like its front man Fedor Emelianenko, has found itself on suffocating on the canvas. The only question that follows is--will M-1 tap out?
Even more interesting is Strikeforce's future. Strikeforce has been able to survive the recession while other organizations it has associated with it weren't so lucky (Bodog, Elite XC). How will Strikeforce's future pan out in the wake of the M-1 crisis?
This looks like a double knee-bar situation. The final question remains--who will tap first?
Middle Easy's interview with Evgeni Kogan from M-1 Global:

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