MMAPayout.com has learned that Couture and Emelianenko, along with their respective management teams, have spent a great deal of time together in Los Angeles this week. The purpose of the informal summit is not entirely clear, but one logical goal of the meetings could be the development of a collective strategy moving forward in order to insure that the fight takes place, sooner rather than later.
Adding intrigue to the meetings are recent statements from both parties, as well as the UFC, publicly indicating a willingness to discuss resolving their respective differences in order to have the fight take place in the Octagon, perhaps by the end of the year. Speculation within the industry pegs the pay-per-view expectations for the fight around one million buys if promoted by the UFC, which combined with what has become an expensive and protracted legal battle, give both sides ample motivation to come to an agreement.
Here’s one of those recent statements mentioned above, although I haven’t heard anything from Dana and the UFC in months like this. It would have to be pretty fucking huge motivation to get the UFC to cave on this whole situation. Bringing Fedor in for one fight promoted by the UFC’s marketing machine could turn him into an instant star. Since Fedor is bullish about staying a free agent and fighting for all the promotions Dana White hates (sure, he hates ALL promotions, but some more than others), I can’t see the UFC risking that. Having Fedor in also means paying Fedor stupid money, which in turn means the bar raises for all the UFC’s top guys.
Essentially, Fedor would fuck with the UFC’s entire pay structure and all their signing conditions. That’s a pretty big price to pay in the long run for one event that would pull three times the normal PPV numbers.