Finkelstein Discusses UFC, Fedor Emelianenko(Sherdog)


Sherdog.com: How do you see the development of MMA in Russia, and how has your organization (M-1) contributed to this over the last ten years and where do you see the promotion going in the future?
Vadim Finkelstein: That's a few questions; I'll try to address them one at a time. I started M-1 Mixfight here, it St. Petersburg 10 years ago. Since that time we have developed a lot, to the point of having regular television coverage on a state channel with large ratings and staging events frequently.

Sherdog.com: Please discuss the last event that you organization.
VF: That was the BodogFight event in St. Petersburg on April 14. I thought Bodog behaved very badly in regard to that event. They acted as though the whole organization of the event and everything surrounding it, the VIPs such as Jean Claude Van Damme and Vladimir Putin: was because of them. In reality I and my brother [Evgeny Finkelstein] organized 90% of it.

The logo for the event was also very unfortunate, Bodog Fight was very prominent and they almost hid a small M-1 logo in the corner in all marketing materials, so that it was almost impossible to see. So I am not particularly pleasantly disposed towards BodogFight at the moment.

Sherdog:あなたはどのようにロシアのMMAを発展させていきましたか? また、あなたの団体(M-1)はこの10年に渡ってどう貢献してきましたか? また、プロモーションの今後の展開について教えて下さい。

ワジム:一度にいくつも尋ねますね。一つずつ答えさせて下さい。私は10年前M-1 Mixfightをここサンクトペテルブルグで始めました。それから州のチャンネルでテレビのレギュラー放送をして高視聴率を獲得し、しばしばイベントを行う一歩手前まで、我々は成長しました。



 大会のロゴも非常に理不尽でした。「Bodog Fight」は非常に目立つように配置されていたのに「M-1」のロゴはほとんど見えないように角の方に隠されてるんですから。よって私は現在BodogFightに全く好感を持っていません。


Sherdog.com: Russian president Vladimir Putin has been recently been described as a big fan of MMA and of Russian fighters. Could you please discuss his involvement with the sport?
VF: Initially I believe Putin saw our fighters on the weekly program which has been run on NTV, one of the national channels. He is a big fan of Fedor Emelianenko (Pictures), and was present at the BodogFight event on April 14 as a personal guest of Fedor's.




Sherdog.com: What's the next move for M-1 Mixfight?
VF: We are planning on holding an event later on in the year in Moscow, that Fedor may fight in if we have no success in signing with one of the organizations with whom we are currently in negotiations with.

Sherdog.com: Please discuss how you feel about Russian fighters going overseas to fight, when the sport is developing here so fast and is soon going to be able to match the kind of money they could be getting in the US or in Japan.
VF: I have no problem with this, if it's good for my fighters, it's good for M-1 and it's good for me. I would be very happy if tomorrow Aleksander was to go fight in PRIDE or K-1. I do not see us as competing with those organizations. UFC, PRIDE and K-1 are not our competitors; rather I would be very happy to work together with any of them in developing the sport further in this country.

I am talking about collaborations similar to the one with BodogFight, except that BodogFight is not an organization that has integrity and I will not work with them again. They used us to get a foot in the door in Russia and have now started developing their own business here on their own. Last week I found out that they have landed a weekly spot on Channel One here. In fact this makes me happy when you get down to it, as it's all contributing to the development of the sport here, and I think that's the most important thing.

Sherdog:M-1 Mixfightの次の予定はありますか?






Sherdog.com: As Fedor's manager, can you please fill us in on the current state of his contract negotiations.
VF: At the moment we are in negotiations with a number of organizations who have put offers on the table. I'll be blunt in saying that the UFC offer is the most financially attractive one. However they are very harsh in their terms and are not very flexible in actually negotiating them.

Fedor has now been the PRIDE heavyweight champion for four years and I think we have earned the right to negotiate a contract that suits both parties. Instead we are faced with a blunt "you are either in or you're out." This does not really suit us. If the negotiations continue in a similar manner, we'll prefer to fight for less money but with an organization which is more flexible.

The problem is that Fedor is the face of Combat Sambo in Russia. His popularity is at a level where he is acquainted with president Putin himself, in part because he is so successful and well known for Combat Sambo here.

Combat Sambo is a Russian sport that's not at a level of difficulty of MMA, but is hugely popular with our public. Fedor must represent Russia in Combat Sambo and at world championships, specifically the ones coming up in September. All we want him to do is compete something like once a year in Combat Sambo. But the UFC is not happy with that.

Their proposal has all kinds of clauses, all kinds of fines etc. that do not suit us. The UFC is not really that eager to communicate and negotiate. The negotiations are still continuing, and we will try very hard to get our demands met, if not Fedor will simply not compete in the UFC, even though that will be unfortunate as they currently have one of the, if not the, strongest, heavyweight divisions in the world.






 彼らの提案にはありとあらゆる条項があります、ありとあらゆる罰金その他は我々にとってあまり好都合ではありません。UFCとは蜜に連絡を取り合って交渉していません。交渉はまだ続いています。そして、我々は一生懸命に要 求に応じてもらおうと努力しています。ヒョードルはヘビー級世界最強の選手ですからUFCにやすやすとは参加することはありません。











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