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M-1 Global Confirms Split with Emelianenko; Hints at Sylvia Signing
M-1 Global Confirms Split with Emelianenko; Hints at Sylvia Signing - MMAjunkie.com
by MMAjunkie.com Staff [mmajunkie-staff] on Mar 28, 2008 at 11:19 am in - News -
The recently restructured M-1 Global organization today made it official and announced that it's severed ties with former PRIDE heavyweight title-holder Fedor Emelianenko, the fighter once considered the centerpiece of the entire promotion.
Famed MMA agent and M-1 Global President and CEO Monte Cox publicly confirmed the split earlier this week, and the organization confirmed the news with a press release issued today.
The decision appears mostly business-related. M-1 Global's American investors reportedly felt that making such a huge investment in one fighter could have spelled disaster for the organization.
"There is so much going on in the world of mixed martial arts right now that we have decided it is in our best interest if our company and Fedor go our separate ways," Cox stated. "During the past six months, the landscape of MMA, especially in the U.S., has dramatically changed. The sport continues to gain mainstream acceptance, and we believe we will be in a better position to capitalize on these new opportunities with this agreement."
The organization has agreed to let the former M-1 owners, headed by Emelianenko's manager Vadim Finkelchtein, keep the M-1 name. Cox and his investors from Sibling Entertainment will soon announce a new name for the promotion and vows to continue working toward a June 14 debut date in Chicago.
Finkelchtein hasn't ruled out Emelianenko's possible involvement with the organization at a future date.
* * * *
In today's press release, the organization also stated that "we will be sending out another press release within the next 24 hours."
Multiple reports suggest that former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia's UFC contract, which had one fight left on it, has been terminated and that he'll instead sign with M-1 Global.
Cox, M-1 Global's CEO, represents Sylvia.
On his official website, Sylvia had recently promised a big announcement today. He now says to watch tonight's edition of "Inside MMA," a partner site of MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), for the news.
Tim Sylvia and Ben Rothwell Sign with Adrenaline MMA - MMAjunkie.com
Tim Sylvia and Ben Rothwell Sign with Adrenaline MMA
by Dann Stupp [mmajunkie] on Mar 28, 2008 at 9:00 pm in - News -
Former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia (24-4), a longtime UFC fighter whose relationship with the organization was oftentimes rocky, has left the organization and signed with Adrenaline MMA -- the promotion previously known as M-1 Global.
Adrenaline MMA CEO Monte Cox announced that former IFL stand-out heavyweight Ben Rothwell (29-5) has also signed with the organization, which is working toward a June 14 show in Chicago.
The announcements were made on today's edition of "Inside MMA" on HDNet.
Both Sylvia and Rothwell are represented by Cox, who's also one of the sport's most prominent fight managers.
Sylvia, who had spent more than five years with the UFC and held the heavyweight belt on two different occasions, had one fight left on his contract with the organization. He says the split with the UFC was mutually agreed upon.
MMAjunkie.com (MMA blog for UFC news, UFC rumors, fighter interviews and event previews/recaps - MMAjunkie.com) reported his possible depature earlier today -- soon after Sylvia posted a message on his official website promising a big announcement on "Inside MMA."
His deal with Adrenaline MMA is non-exlusive, meaning he will be able to compete outside the organization.
"I'll be real active, fighting six or seven times a year," Sylvia said. "Adrenaline is a new company that's just starting up, but they're allowing fighters to fight outside of their organization. That's huge... Take for instance my last fight. Granted, I loss, but I came out of there unhurt and unscathed. I could have fought a week or two later.
"Being 32 years old, I have four or five good years ahead of me. I plan to make the most of it."
M-1 Global launched in October 2007 after the organization was purchased by a group of American investors from Sibling Entertainment. However, after announcing that Emelianenko signed with the organization more than six months ago, Cox admitted this week that the fighter only signed a letter of intent. The organization and M-1 Global split ways this week, and the M-1 name will return to Emelianenko's manager and former M-1 president, Vadim Finkelchtein.
Sylvia, who suffered a third-round submission loss to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in his host recent fight, specifically mentioned Emelianenko, who's now a free agent, as a fighter he wants to face in the future.
As for Cox, he is committed to getting Adrenaline MMA off the ground.
"It's a chance for me to build an organization," Cox said. "We're not going to come in and be the UFC. Anyone who tries to do that is crazy.
"We're brand new. What we want to do is I want to identify exciting fighters, up-and-coming fighters, and give them a chance to perform on a big stage. And hopefully, we'll gather a big following and someday down the road be doing pay-per-views and such."
Rothwell, a Miletich fighter like Sylvia, has competed exclusively with the IFL since April 2006, going a perfect 9-0. He's currently riding a 13-fight win streak.
"We have two of the best heavyweights in the world to start off," Cox said of Adrenaline MMA. "There are a lot of organizations that would like to be in our shoes."
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