It was a whirlwind romance, but it seems the flame has burned out. Fedor and M-1 are breaking up. At least, that’s what one of Fedor’s agents, Apy Echteld, told ESPN’s Ryan Hockensmith. Echteld claimed that an announcement was forthcoming in the next few days, and that Fedor would officially be a free agent.
It’s not hard to see what prompted this split. Fedor wants to see other people. And considering that M-1 has had him for about five months without even coming close to putting on an event of their own, who can blame him? There he sits, surrounded by big promises and not much else from M-1 Global — which has shown itself to be little more than a Rent-a-Fedor operation thus far — while outside the MMA world turns without him, and the big fights pass him by.
One man who was very happy to hear this news was UFC president Dana White. His inability to sign Fedor the first time he was a free agent precipitated the Randy Couture debacle. Though that matter soon got ugly in other areas, Fedor joining the UFC could be the impetus that Couture and the UFC both need to put their differences aside and make this highly anticipated bout happen.
But, would White be willing to take another go at signing Fedor, whose abilities he has publicly disparaged many times, even once calling his management team “crazy Russians”?
“Absolutely, 100 percent, in a heartbeat,” White told ESPN. “People think he’s the best—I don’t, not even close. But if it’s somehow possible, I would make it happen.”
Granted, none of this is going to happen easily. At the moment, no announcement about Fedor leaving M-1 has been made, and some in the MMA world have cast doubt upon the possibility. One notable shift in the dialogue is the fact that it’s now Echteld doing the talking for Fedor, and not Vadim Finklestein, Fedor’s longtime manager. But then, we also have to remember that Finklestein also has a stake in M-1. If Fedor’s on the outs with the organization, he may also be looking to split from Finklestein, who guided him in that direction to begin with.
It’s still too early to know exactly what’s going to happen, but the wheels seem to be in motion. Now we just have to wait and see how M-1 is going to take the breakup. Something tells me she’s the kind that doesn’t let go easily, especially since Fedor is all she’s got. Attention-grabbing fake suicide attempt, anyone? Maybe an “accidental” pregnancy?
Okay, this metaphor has officially gone too far. I’ll stop now.