"I think June, July is realistic (for Emelianenko's return). It's not 100 percent. Don't take this as a fight announcement, but I think during the summer. After the CBS show, we thought that the (Strikeforce) terms needed a little bit tweaking -- nothing major, just a little bit of tweaking. So, we had a round of negotiations with Strikeforce. Everything went positively. We're pretty much at the end. For us, it's really important that the M-1 Global brand is acknowledged on these co-promotion events. As much as the partners made a lot of effort to acknowledge the co-branding, the media basically picked up on the fact that it was Strikeforce and kind of forgot about everything else, which wasn't the most ideal for us."
Evgeni Kogan, M-1 Global's Director of Operations, dismisses reports that promotion star Fedor Emelianenko is out of action due to internal conflict or a chronic hand injury. Instead, Kogan reveals that the co-promotion agreement between his company and Strikeforce needed a bit of "tweaking," that perhaps the existence of M-1 was being overshadowed by the glitz and glamor of the Strikeforce presence on CBS. Now with both sides crossing their T's and dotting their I's, "The Last Emperor" could return by July 2010 to answer the call of Fabricio Werdum. Any Maniacs out there confident in this timetable? Or is this a classic case of "I'll believe it when I see it?"