Coker on Fedor Deal: We’ll Be Partners for a Long Time


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Fedor Emelianenko | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com


The contract renegotiation between Strikeforce and Fedor Emelianenko/M-1 Global concluded this week with a four-fight agreement, but Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker believes the Russian heavyweight will be with his promotion for more than four bouts.

“I think that the four fights is part of the new deal, but I think we still have a fight on the old deal too. I don’t want to get into how many fights we have with him, but I believe it’s more than four fights in total,” Coker said Wednesday on the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show. “It’s multi-fights, multi-year, and I think that for the next two years, he’s going to be fighting for Strikeforce in conjunction with Showtime. These fights have to be co-promotions with M-1. I think that M-1 did a good job negotiating their deal, so we’re going to be partners for a long time.”

Fedor fights Antonio Silva in the first round of Strikeforce’s eight-man heavyweight tournament Feb. 12 in East Rutherford, N.J.

“Even if Fedor wins the tournament, he’s still going to have some more fights to go defend the belt,” Coker said. “We have a long time and a long history with options after and everything.”

In fact, Coker said Fedor requested a spot in the tournament, which could match him against three top 10-caliber heavyweights in 2011.

“I think [the tournament] was something that actually he wanted to do,” Coker said. “I got the call saying, ‘Hey, we want Fedor in the tournament.’ Guys, let me tell you, I’m a fan still. I’ve seen him for the last 10 years. Let’s face it: Anytime a guy like Fedor enters the cage … it’s a special occasion. To have him in our tournament, I was just excited and so happy.”

Coker also explained that Fedor’s signing led to a quick launch of the tournament. Not long after news broke of his new deal, matchups were set and announced for the eight-man field with Fedor fighting next month.

“Fedor signed and we had to go,” Coker said. “Now we’re fighting on [Feb. 12]. Fedor wants to fight now. He doesn’t want to wait. Fedor wants to get it on, so we’re going to get it on.”

Coker isn’t worried the tournament will be interrupted by another contract renegotiation either.

“I feel confident that the way the contract’s structured is solid, and no one’s going anywhere,” he said. “If anybody’s going to renegotiate, it’s going to be Coker. I’m joking, I’m joking. It’s all good. Everybody’s happy now. Let’s just keep it that way.”

Listen to the full interview (beginning at 54:18) with Coker, who discussed the tournament in-depth.

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