The Real Fedor-UFC Update

So if you visit the main page of to get your news, you've probably seen the UG News story about Fedor and UFC allegedly negotiating again, a story that is ostensibly credited to

The fanpost on MMAMania wasn't made by any of their writers, but by "Larry River", a user who signed up today and almost immediately fabricated the story with no attribution. But since UG News does no fact checking and will print absolutely anything they feel people might click on, it's now a top story on the CBS Sports UFC page (redirects to and incorrectly puts MMAMania as the source of the story.

This isn't the first instance of poor information regarding talks between Fedor and UFC (or lack thereof). Shortly before Fedor signed to Strikeforce, Kevin Iole and the LA Times website claimed Fedor was in the final steps of making a UFC deal that would never materialize. After that temporary coup by Strikeforce, Zuffa, in an effort to hurt Fedor's reputation, leaked information suggesting he turned down 30 million dollars  (it was a half truth at best).

Now, I believe this latest rumour is probably just a hoax by some troll, but the details of the "report" try to damage Fedor's standing and leverage in a similar way, and at a very interesting time in Fedor's career. From the text:

"The terms are much different now due to the fact that he lost three in a row and is no longer as valuable as he once was, and Fedor's management knows this. As of right now, nothing has been signed, but negotiations are going smoothly."

It goes on to say that M-1 is no longer interested in any co-promotion stipulations. Both of these claims are way off, and reflect the opposite of the real situation after M-1's big Moscow Olympic Stadium card this weekend.

There are still no official, verifiable numbers to reference, but Sherdog says the event drew a capacity 22,000 crowd and based on my conservative estimate, it likely drew a gate in excess of $2 million USD. The event was broadcast live on the state sports network, with Putin and Medvedev both in attendance to personally congratulate Fedor after his win. It looked good on TV, felt like a major MMA show and the crowd was super hot for Fedor and the main event.

The success of the Fedor vs. Monson event changes things for M-1 and could potentially have a ripple effect on the rest of the MMA world. For Fedor and M-1, they now have a blueprint for moving forward with Fedor as the TV and live venue cash cow he always promised to be in Russia, but never was until now. Seemingly by accident, they've come up with a way to reverse the flow of talent out of M-1 and build a viable media platform for native Russian athletes to become TV stars much like TUF fighters in North America. And at the top of the card, there is now a monumental one-off opportunity for HWs that could come with a big purse, a useful bit of leverage for fighters who still have some degree of free agency like Barnett, Cormier, Werdum etc.

To wrap this big pile of FRAT up quickly: UG News really needs to adopt some basic standards because print-anything blogs encourage misinformation; and if you don't think Dana and Lorenzo convened in the war room about the Fedor vs. Monson event, you're crazy. 


 Yay another Smoogy Fedor thread.

What the hell would Zuffa have to gain from planting a story that Fedor may be negotiating with the Ufc?

Also lol at your theory that this is a way to somehow pigeonhole Cormier, Barnett or Werdum into signing with the Ufc. I'm sure instead of signing with the biggest, best paying org that offers them some job security they'd much rather sign one fight contracts with M1. Right that makes a lot of sense. I mean what's better the Ufc hw title or 1 fight with Fedor. I mean it's not like Werdum has been begginf for a Ufc fight for weeks now. It's not like Zuffa already has them under contract.

Jesus I always thought it hilarious that the people always behind these Zuffa conspiracy and Zuffa shill threads are in fact the biggest shills and most biased posters of all.

Jesus Dana and Lorenzo having a meeting about the Fedor vs Monson fight? Right because Fedor was such a star in the US. Get a fuckign grip man.

it was pretty obvious it was bullshit but people dont read things.

if you go to that website you can see its basically a blog.

when ug news started placing bleacer report articles on the front page I kinda realised they dont really make a professional effort to report mma news.

the forum is basically the best source for news as long as you are not retarded and can see the odd bs story.

Like I said, I don't believe it was a Zuffa leak, I think it was just a lone gunman troll. But the 30 million thing clearly was a Zuffa-leaked piece of information with a purpose in mind, and I'm merely pointing out the similarity here, whether they are related or not.

You're misunderstanding the part about Barnett/Cormier/Werdum. I'm not claiming this is way to pigeonhole them at all, I'm saying M-1 having a large, state sponsored Russian platform gives those fighters some modicum of leverage and choice if the purses are competitive. Beyond just the purse, the opportunity to fight Fedor is a unique prize in MMA that fighters like Barnett have pursued for years. And it isn't an either-or proposition; it's not unfathomable that someone could go fight Fedor on a one fight deal, do ok, maybe even win, then parley that into a UFC deal. I'm looking at it from a perspective of the bargaining power of the fighters; you seem to be looking through the prism of org vs org fanboy sentiment for some reason.

The whole point here is that Fedor is now a bonafide TV and live venue star in Russia.

smoogy - Beyond just the purse, the opportunity to fight Fedor is a unique prize in MMA that fighters like Barnett have pursued for years.

It was a unique opportunity. Fighting Fedor carries no where near the cachet that it used to.

Though I agree this is probably a significant positive for M-1. Thought M-1 was headed for failure and eventual bankruptcy prior to this, but this might enable them to survive. However they can only hang on to the Fedor gravy train for so long and they still has piss-poor idiot management, so I'm still not sold on their long-term prospects.

People have been wondering why M-1 didn't use Fedor on their own shows to bring attention to their own events for years now. Why are they just now doing so and why is it suddenly supposedly vastly more successful than it presumably would have been previously, when Fedor actually was the #1 guy?

Anyone have any idea how much Fedor was paid for this show and how much that cut into profits? If I'm not mistaken his usual demand was $1.5 million.


ug news strikes again

your crazy (not saying theyre not viable)theories aside. did the whole story really go from a just signed up noobs random post all the way to CBS sports via Teh UG without any sort of fact check. astonishing.

Didn't Dana already deny any interest in fedor?...then again we've heard that about many things over the years I guess. Phone Post

orcus - People have been wondering why M-1 didn't use Fedor on their own shows to bring attention to their own events for years now. Why are they just now doing so and why is it suddenly supposedly vastly more successful than it presumably would have been previously, when Fedor actually was the #1 guy?

Anyone have any idea how much Fedor was paid for this show and how much that cut into profits? If I'm not mistaken his usual demand was $1.5 million.

As I mentioned in the thread about the most-attended events of 2011, about 18 months ago M-1 secured a deal with Russia 2, the state sports television network. This is roughly the equivalent of a major network deal in the USA. And the live events (not just M-1, but also ProFC and some others) almost always feature Fedor prominently as he sits ringside, much like how K-1 would cut to Masato every 5 seconds. While past Fedor fights were aired on Russian TV in some form or another, this was the first time to see him live in Russia in a distinctly Russian MMA format. It was also simulcast on the Moscow state channel, so it seems the potential national TV audience was as big as it gets; I don't have any ratings statis but I wouldn't be surprised if 10 million or more saw the fight live.

Ghenghis - 
When smaller indoor sports are held at the venue, such as tennis or basketball, only 1/4 of the floor space is used. Capacity at this configuration can vary between 10,000 and 16,000 people.

Where are you getting this 22k number from?'s event recap

You are aware that if you take away the basketball court, the scorer's table and team benches, hundreds of floor seats can be added, right? The wikipedia says the venue can hold 25,000 for concerts.

Any more gate information is welcomed.

m1 is officially on a role...

at 35 Fedor (might) be in the twilight of his career...

lets all hope he ends it in the UFC, instead of some freak show in Japan.

i'm a fan of Fedor... and i still think he can compete in the UFC.

he needs to change his "mind" as a fighter... nothing more.

new gameplans and perhaps training with couture could benefit him (but honestly i like him just the way he is).

viva la ruskia or something... oh sorry USA, USA

Ghengis, I think that refers to stuff like basketball where they need multiple large camera stands in the lower rafters. In MMA the majority of the camera guys are on the apron or around the ring and don't need much real estate by comparison. Combine that with all the other things I mentioned and you might have all the missing seats, I don't know. Again, if there is an official attendance released and it's less than 22,000, I wouldn't be surprised, by judging by Sherdog's live report and what I could see on my TV, unless the upper bowl was empty (I couldn't see it) the reported figure is quite plausible if you care to examine the facts.

MMALogic, I like how you KNOW that thread you're referring to was all about TV ratings, yet you use it anyway to pander. If Zuffa buys M-1, will you recycle this tired gag yet again?

DoomFarmer - So Fedor is still not ever coming, right?


Ghenghis - 
smoogy - if you care to examine the facts.

I haven't seen any facts yet. All there has been is conjecture , speculation and 3rd hand accounts of what people supposedly paid for tickets. When I point out an actual fact from the wiki you try to discredit it lol. I just find it rather amusing that you use these "facts" to call M1 a national sports power, which in itself is quite laughable after only doing this 1 show.

Sorry if you took "if you care to examine the facts" as a swipe or something; I didn't mean that you don't care to examine the facts. I'm just expressing my outlook on the matter (e.g. I'll believe the reports that seem plausible based on my viewing experience until otherwise proven wrong).

The wiki page is unquestionably vague about the total capacity, but Tim Leidecker, who was there, is the one reporting the attendance figure. So to clarify, I only estimated the gate and I freely admit it was an informal guess at best. It would be nice of Evgeni Kogan to do his job and actually report these stats so we can all stop yelling at each other, agree? 

P.S. Here is another unverified stat coming in from another unsourced thread: over 11m viewers average and over 17m peak... will try to confirm 

I think people on this board are not very clear of few things.

1. In Russia, MMA is still beginning. People in general see the UFC as just another promotion, the American promotion that is.

The overall mindset as of today is that for real top athletic talent, you look to Olympics: wrestling, judo and boxing. Things like MMA are interesting and new, but they are not something people accept yet fully, it is more entertainment than real athletic competition.

Because MMA is not yet seen as the most desired platform to demonstrate Russian dominance, wrestling is, people still don't know what to make of it.

Further, UFC is just another promotion. It is not as if people are thinking: oh my god, the best fighters in the world are there, so we must go there.

They are thinking more like: real athletic combat competition is in the Olympics: wrestling, judo, boxing. UFC is some promotion with good fights but we can't really make sense of MMA yet. Why not build our own promotion in Russia ?

In that sense, M-1 has an excellent position to deliver people MMA in Russia. Also, Russians love their own brand, like say Sambo, so M-1 will grow there.

2. M-1 is in a hugely great position. And if they play their cards right, they can produce amazing fighters. It is not just Russia, it is the whole of Europe and it covers Asia as well.

UFC is actually not marketing well there.

3. The talent market in Russia and Eastern Europe is massive and surpasses that of USA and Brazil.

There is no other country in the world that has such top athletic performances in all 4 of: sambo, judo, boxing and wrestling, as Russia does (and the republics).

More importantly, the athletic systems for developing talent in combat sports is unprecedented. Brazil, USA and Japan are not even remotely close.

There is only one thing missing: MMA has not yet become popular, but slowly they will start attracting that kind of talent. Then, all these sports programs will get targeted to MMA in a professional way, not like now, which is really mostly for fun.

So M-1 is in a hugely good position and IMO, they will grow massively in the next 10 years.

It would be great if MMA was like wrestling and judo, with 1 federation and common rankings, but there are a lot of money to be made, so that won't happen.

As a personal opinion, the UFC is not recruiting or marketing well from there. Every time I talk to athletes from Russia /Eastern Europe (Judo, Wrestling), they are very non-familiar with the UFC, much more with local promotions.

WAR FEDOR!! Phone Post

I like how smoogy pulls these numbers out if his ass. You wouldn't be surprised if 10 million people watched this? Get real lol. Phone Post

 ^ it doesnt really matter how many people in russia watch it because it's all state owned or controlled television... which means no competition in bidding for programming... which means shit license fees for programming.

but somehow M1 is gonna turn into some sort of player in this environment?  smoogy is overestimating and getting his hopes up.

Even with the viacom purchase of bellator... the only org that carries a meaningful threat is One FC.

The only race left is India and China... One FC is the only player who has the partners to become a threat in the last remaining significant markets (india and china).  Those are the only prizes left... everywhere else is just part of the details.

Whoever lays claim to india and/or china will own the surrounding parts.  China is also state run TV, but that market is gonna bust wide open in the next 30 years.  Russia is not nearly the same size in economy and putin has all but seized control which isnt loosening anytime soon. 

UFC owns north america, Married into the middle east, in the process of owning south america, australia and western europe... and as western europe goes so will eastern europe follow.

Asia is the only space that's wide open and the only race that matters now.