Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times reported on the newspaper's Web site that a deal between both sides "is expected to be announced by UFC President Dana White on Friday." However, several hours later, M-1 Global's Apy Echteld told SI.com's Josh Gross, "I can give you a guarantee it's not accurate."
Pugmire, however, is standing by his story. Kind of.
Pugmire tweeted on Wednesday:
"Second source close to Fedor Emelianenko confirms "intense negotiations" between fighter and UFC, declines to say it'll be done by friday."To make sure about the Times' report, another source close to M-1 told FanHouse, "It's more than premature -- it is based on no fact whatsoever."
Unless M-1 has decided to hold their cards very close to their vest, it seems as though both sides aren't close to a deal after all. Heck, another source told MMA Junkie on Wednesday that the Times report is "untrue."
Who are we to believe?
It's hard to simply ignore a report of this magnitude from a mainstream news outlet. So I am hesitant to just brush the Times' report aside. However, in this particular case, there appears to be little smoke or fire, if you know what I mean.
M-1 is scheduled to hold a press conference at 4 PM ET. Something tells me they won't be announcing the date of Fedor's Octagon debut then.
Update: Pugmire added this tweet Wednesday afternoon:
The UFC is still scheduled to hold their conference call on Friday, which likely indicates that Fedor signing with the organization was never the reason for it in the first place. Stay tuned.