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Fedor Emelianenko Joins Strikeforce

Fedor EmelianenkoIt's official: Fedor Emelianenko will not be fighting in the UFC anytime soon. Instead, the best heavyweight MMA fighter in the world has signed what is being called "a historic, multi-fight agreement that will see him headline mega-events co-promoted by world championship promotions Strikeforce and M-1 Global." Strikeforce announced the signing via press release on Monday.

"I am looking forward to going back to work and fighting at the highest level," Emelianenko said. "Strikeforce is a top fight promotion that houses some of the greatest fighters in the world. I am prepared to fight any of them."

The press release did not specify what the terms of contract were; it simply stated that Emelianenko will make his debut this fall on Showtime. Strikeforce director of communications, Mike Afromowitz, told FanHouse that the organization is planning on holding a press conference in the near future to announce further details.

Apparently, Strikeforce was able to meet the demands of Emelianenko's promotion, M-1 Global, which was something UFC president Dana White refused to do. The major sticking point between Emelianenko's camp and the UFC was that the UFC refused to co-promote events with the Russian-based group.

"There's no compromise on co-promotion," White said on Friday. "Why the hell would I let anyone come in and co-promote. The Fertittas risked all their money. All the things we did in busting our ass in the 10 years we've been in this business, and these guys are going to walk in and say, 'We're going to be in business with you guys'?"

No word on who Emelianenko will be facing first or the exact date of his Strikeforce debut.

Afromowitz informed FanHouse that only cards in which Emelianenko fights on will be billed as a co-promotion between both organizations.

"I am very happy and excited about the upcoming collaboration with Strikeforce," said Vadim Finkelchtein, President of M-1 Global. "We are very pleased that we found a reliable partner and I feel that Strikeforce and M-1 can support each other on many things. This will create big opportunities for both parties to test their fighters against worthy opponents."

Needless to say, this is a major coup for Strikeforce and Showtime. Once the negotiations between the UFC and M-1 Global broke down, many believed that it was only a matter of time before Strikeforce would offer Emelianenko a deal.

"We are extremely excited to have the opportunity to work with M-1 Global and Fedor," said Strikeforce Founder and CEO Scott Coker. "Fedor has been the reigning king of MMA's heavyweight division for quite some time now so being able to work with M-1 and Fedor will substantially increase the level of competition amongst the athletes in this weight class."

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