Ah, the story that has had the fans of MMA hanging horse shoes and crossing their fingers. Will Fedor sign with the UFC? The terms of the deal that the UFC offered Fedor were posted earlier, and I'll post them here as a reminder:
- 5 fight contract worth 30 million dollars
- Fedor can do his Sambo competitions
- M-1 gets a cut of the PPV in which Fedor fights
- Fedor could wear all the M-1 clothing he wanted when he fought
- M-1 and Fedor refused the deal unless the UFC agree to co-promote
The reality is this. We cannot fault M-1 for seeking to aggrandize its riches and use this opportunity to work with the UFC to benefit its efforts. But we also must recognize the stubbornness of M-1's co-promotion stipulation indicates they are attempting to make a statement. The UFC is offering unreal payment and exposure - exposure that literally no one else can provide save perhaps CBS - for the M-1 organization, to say nothing of how much they'll pocket from the PPV buys. Fedor will be allowed to wear as much M-1 signage as he likes. That means this deal accomplishes in meaningful ways the goal of promoting M-1. This deal is helpful to the M-1 brand and company.It's not as helpful as co-promotion, but the inexorable position that it's co-promotion or its nothing is the epitome of cutting off one's nose to spite their face.
I couldn't really say it any better than that. The simple fact that the UFC has made concessions on the Sambo issue as well as allowing Fedor to wear M-1 apparel speaks volumes in regards to their efforts to sign this guy. Whereas there is no evidence of Fedor/M-1 making concessions on their end, if so they should make that public. Also, let's not even talk about the amount of money they offered Fedor. This contract is worth 5 MILLION dollars per fight. The biggest PPV draw the UFC has(Brock Lesnar) isn't even making that, and Fedor hasn't even fought in the UFC yet. I'm all for giving respect to Fedor as the best HW right now, but he isn't making himself any new fans by turning down this contract.
Sure, all of the hardcore fans that witnessed his greatness in PRIDE will remember how great he was/is. However, to the slew of new fans that make up the majority of the MMA fanbase, Fedor will be nothing but a guy that ducked fighting in the largest and best MMA organization in the world if he doesn't sign with the UFC. I truly think his window of dominating the heavyweight division is closing pretty quickly anyways, so in the grand scheme of things it may not be such a big deal after all if he doesn't sign. But, there will probably always be that 'what if' factor and sometimes that isn't a bad thing.
I wanna hear your thoughts on this one..