clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Strikeforce to Meet With Fedor's Reps About Next Fight, Possible Extension

Scott Coker has business to attend to on Friday night with the Strikeforce Challengers 9 event that's emanating from Everett, Washington, but it's on to other important matters this weekend for the company CEO.

Coker is set to meet with Fedor Emelianenko's M-1 representatives this weekend to continue charting a path for Emelianenko's future.

The Russian star, who lost his first fight in nearly 10 years when he submitted to Fabricio Werdum in June, has just one fight left on his current deal, and a source with knowledge of the situation said this would be the second meeting between the two sides as they address action items involving his career.

Though the entirety of the discusssions are under lock and key, here are the three most important items on the negotiating table.

Fedor's Next Fight
Regardless of what the distant future holds, Emelianenko (32-2, 1 no contest) has one more fight to satisfy on his current deal. The question of who it will be against has been a recent point of speculation.

Emelianenko's M-1 team favors a rematch with Werdum, but Strikeforce seems to be moving away from that possibility. In addition, Werdum's manager Richard Wilner told MMA Fighting earlier this week that Werdum is no longer as interested in a rematch as he was in the immediate aftermath of his win.

Strikeforce heavyweight champ Alistair Overeem and Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva have also been mentioned as possibilities for Emelianenko's next fight, though Overeem has voiced a preference of facing Werdum in a rematch of a 2006 fight, which Werdum won via submission.

Contract Extension
Though Emelianenko promised Coker that he'd fight again in the Strikeforce cage, the specter of life without Fedor looms for the organization if they can't get Emelianenko back in the fold with an extension, which is also likely to be discussed.

In some ways, Emelianenko's loss might have helped the company in that UFC President Dana White said that he's no longer interested in him. While one less bidder seemed likely to drive Emelianenko's price lower, an unexpected development half-a-world away could have implications. The international MMA landscape was jolted in the last week, when Japan-based DREAM and K-1 promoter FEG announced a financing partnership that could revitalize the country's MMA scene.

Still, that is a developing situation that will take time, with one source saying the financing is structured as a three-year plan. In the meantime, DREAM may not have the capital to be a factor in a free-agency situation involving Emelianenko.

Champion's Clause
A source close to the situation confirmed to MMA Fighting that Strikeforce will continue to pursue a champion's clause, a fact that was first reported by MMA Fighting last month.

It is not known how such a demand will affect negotiations, nor is it clear how adamant the company is to include it in any deal. The clause could come into play if Strikeforce chose to next match Emelianekno with Overeem, because should Emelianenko win, it would ensure he was not able to enter free agency despite holding their championship, a path recently taken by middleweight champ Jake Shields, who ultimately signed with the UFC.

Meanwhile, Coker has had ongoing discussions with CBS about Strikeforce's next broadcast TV appearance, which though not guaranteed, could come in October or November. Not surprisingly, all parties involved would like to include Emelianenko if possible.

Clearly, there are many moving parts in play as the Russian star, his M-1 reps and Strikeforce attempt to extend their ever-changing relationship. The only thing that seems certain is that Emelianenko will fight at least one more time under the Strikeforce banner. The future beyond that remains as mysterious as Emelianenko himself.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Fighting Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Fighting