I never have all that much to say about him as a fighter (he’s great, the end), but Fedor’s business dealings and the circus that forms every time he’s a free agent is always good for endless blog fodder. This week he’s fighting Brett Rogers and I can’t really think of an angle other than yes I am excited about the fight but no I don’t really give Brett Rogers much of a chance. On the other hand, check out the details of this lawsuit Fedor’s people just threw at Affliction and 50 as of yet unnamed individuals:
The complaint alleges that Strikeforce, Affliction, and M-1 reached an agreement with M-1 to allow Brett Rogers to fight Fedor Emelianenko at Affliction: Trilogy, but unbeknownst to Fedor and M-1, Affliction was simultaneously working on a renewed sponsorship deal with the UFC that would necessarily force Affliction out of the MMA promoting business. In short, the complaint alleges that Affliction was putting up a false front about searching for a replacement for Josh Barnett, and was simply buying time while they were trying to make a deal with the UFC.
The complaint alleges that Affliction kept these negotiations secret in an attempt to fool M-1 into believing they were looking for a replacement, and did not inform M-1 of its ongoing negotiations and new deal until July 24, 2009, at which point Fedor and his party of 30 had already boarded a flight from Russia to the United States.
The complaint alleges that the deal to allow Brett Rogers to fight Fedor Emelianenko on Affliction: Trilogy was completed the day before the show was cancelled, and alleges that Affliction was simultaneously pursuing two incompatible options: if the UFC deal closed they would cancel the show, and if it didn’t they would promote Brett Rogers vs. Fedor Emelianenko.
If you’re wondering what’s up with the strange “The complaint alleges” mantra Bloody Elbow has running through the post, I think it has to do with them still being careful after Juanito Ibarra showed how much trouble douchebags with lawyers can cause.
So I figure Affliction may be on the hook for Fedor’s paycheck, M-1 Global’s ‘partnership’ fee, and whatever other fees M-1 decides it deserved because Affliction treated Fedor oh so poorly. At most, the UFC will be dragged into the situation and their role in torpedoing Affliction Trilogy will be scrutinized extensively. Hey, maybe even what they may or may not have done to kill that Vegas Affliction card too. I don’t know what I’m looking forward to finding out more: how much the UFC really did, or if any of it was actually illegal or not.