Tuesday, July 28, 2009

LA Times: Fedor signs with UFC

Lance Pugmire of The Los Angeles Times is reporting that an agreement between Fedor Emelianenko and UFC would be announced Friday at a press conference.

Pugmire quoted a source with information on the negotiations but is not affiliated with UFC.

The story stated Emelianenko would be the next contender for heavyweight champ Brock Lesnar.

Emelianenko (30-1), the world's top heavyweight, had been slated to fight on Aug. 1 against Josh Barnett but Barnett failed a random drug test (due to alleged anabolic-steroid use) that led to the cancellation of "Affliction: Trilogy" and the demise of the promotion itself.

The Russian fighter has negotiated with UFC numerous times in the past but his asking price has always been deemed too high by UFC president Dana White.

Update: MMAjunkie.com is saying that the LA Times report is "untrue," citing a source close to M-1. M-1 President Vadim Finkelchtein is also Emelianenko's manager.

Additionally, SI.com's Josh Gross spoke to M-1 Global executive Apy Echteld, who also said the LA Times report is "not accurate."

Emelianenko and M-1 officials have scheduled a media conference call today where the Russian is expected to update his status.

Other options for Emelianenko include Strikeforce and M-1's new "premium fight series," which debuts Aug. 28 in Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, Pugmire has backed off a bit saying a second source close to Fedor confirms "intense negotiations" with the UFC but declines to say it'll be done by Friday.

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