WAMMA champion Fedor Emelianenko did not turn down a six-fight, $30 million deal from the UFC, claims M-1 Global, a Russia-based promotion and management company of which Emelianenko is an equity stakeholder.
CBS Radio host Carmichael Dave reported the alleged offering that would have paid the top heavyweight $5 million per fight. But, in speaking to Sherdog.com's Loretta Hunt, M-1 CEO Joost Raimond called the report "completely ludicrous."
"I can say that the guaranteed -- and the word 'guaranteed' is of great importance here -- the guaranteed offer made by the UFC is less than what Fedor made before," he told Hunt. "The five million (per fight) is way, way, way out of range. Half of that is even way out of range of what they offered."
UFC and M-1 executives met in Los Angeles earlier this week, though Raimond was not present for the negotiation. He and UFC president Dana White spoke via teleconference in which M-1 counter-offered the UFC's proposal.
No written deal came out of the talks.
Though he acknowledged M-1 had been offered a chance to receive a share of pay-per-view profits, in addition to Emelianenko's guaranteed pay, Raimond said no other incentives were presented "and there were a number of provisions attached to that offer that made it very much less interesting."
Raimond also denied reports that Emelianenko was offered a title shot against UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar (though White has publicly stated otherwise). Raimond did confirm, however, that the UFC offered to allow Emelianenko to continue to compete in sambo and wear M-1 apparel in the Octagon -- an exception the promotion has denied other fighters.
Raimond said talks with the UFC were "professional, productive and respectful" and that "both parties walked away (knowing) even though a deal wasn't made, that a very decent meeting was had.
"We made it clear that Fedor, now and forever is part, even part owner, of M-1 and those two cannot be separated. If the rest of M-1 is excluded from any kind of deal, it makes the deal difficult."
GROSS:M-1 denies L.A. Times report