Strikeforce and M-1 Global are close to finalizing a revised co-promotion deal that will clear the way for the return of top-ranked heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko to Strikeforce this summer, Sherdog today reported, citing sources with both organizations.
“We were renegotiating. I think we’re pretty much at the end of that road,” said Evgeni Kogan, M-1 Global’s Director of Operations. “After the CBS show, we thought that the terms needed a little bit tweaking — nothing major, just a little bit of tweaking. So, we had a round of negotiations with Strikeforce. Everything went positively. We’re pretty much at the end.”
“I think June, July is realistic (for Emelianenko’s return). It’s not 100 percent. Don’t take this as a fight announcement, but I think during the summer.”
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker confirmed that a June event, headlined by Emelianenko vs. fellow contender Fabricio Werdum, was possible. The bout, first reported in December, was initially expected to headline Strikeforce’s April return to CBS, then was postponed until May before being delayed until summer as negotiations between the promotions continued.
Emelianenko (31-1) defeated Brett Rogers in November in his Strikeforce debut on CBS for his 27th-straight win, while Werdum (13-4-1) has won back-to-back Strikeforce fights over Mike Kyle and Antonio Silva after being cut by the UFC in 2008.