You all know I hate M-1 Global, mainly because of how they’ve tried to bring the ‘fighter has his own promotion’ system that gutted boxing into MMA. But I also hate Jerry Millen, mainly because Jerry Millen sucks. So who to believe in a story involving both of them?
Jerry Millen was once involved with PRIDE FC and then became involved with M-1 Global shortly after the Japanese promotion folded. Via his Twitter account, he claimed that the Russian company is in debt to the tune of around $15,000,000. He also said that Fedor Emelianenko’s 20 per cent share of the company is “a sham to keep him with the company”.
Millen was with M-1 for two and a half years. He departed the company in Fall 2010 as M-1 downsized aspects of its international operation. Both sides differed as to how the separation came about – Millen steadfastly maintained that he resigned, M-1 took an opposite line – but both sides said at the time that the split was “amicable”.
Amity has gone out the window now it seems, but Millen’s claims are being taken with a pinch of salt because of last year’s split. Some feel he is merely taking a swipe at M-1 out of animosity. Fighters Only has emailed M-1 executives to ask for a comment on Millen’s claims. We will update this article if a response is received.
Honestly, with Fedor’s career winding down I’m starting to feel like M-1 staying around is better for the sport than it going away. After all, they’re one of the few MMA promotions left regularly throwing events around the world. It was always the Fedor bullshit I hated – the way every fight negotiation with the Last Emperor was less pleasant than prison block gang rape. Since I don’t give much of a shit about Fedor any more, my hatred for M-1 has downgraded from the fiery intensity of the sun to a soft ember’s glow.
As for the relative truthiness of Jerry Millen’s statements, the debt could very well be true (and there have been past M-1 deathwatches) but M-1 certainly isn’t acting like they’re on the brink of death. Always the masters of making money off Fedor’s back, part of their most recent renegotiations landed them a 4-event deal with Showtime. Plus, considering they managed to put on 27 events in 2010, it’s safe to say they’d probably scale down operations a bit before completely collapsing.