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M-1 Global: Fedor To Attend June 16 Strikeforce, Open to Overeem Bout

Fedor Pictures, Images and Photos

Loretta Hunt (lhunt@sherdog.com)

Fedor Emelianenko and his M-1 Global management team are planning for an extended stay in Los Angeles prior to world’s No. 1 heavyweight’s headlining bout against Fabricio Werdum at Strikeforce M-1 Global “Fedor vs. Werdum” on June 26 in San Jose, Calif.

Pending visa approval, Emelianenko will arrive in Los Angeles just prior to June 16, said Evgeni Kogan, M-1 Global’s Director of Operations. Kogan said the Russian heavyweight will arrive in the U.S. earlier than his usual schedule in an effort to spend more time with stateside fans.

In addition to attending Strikeforce “Los Angeles” on June 16 at the Nokia Theatre, Emelianenko has also been slated to appear with EA Sports at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), an annual video game conference held that same week for the industry’s leading trade professionals at the L.A. Convention Center. EA Sports will release its “EA Sports MMA” video game, featuring Emelianenko, the Strikeforce promotion and a considerable portion of its fighter roster in late 2010.

Meanwhile, Kogan said it’s unlikely that the 33-year-old Emelianenko has watched the recent performance of Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem, who stopped Brett Rogers with strikes in his first title defense at Strikeforce “Heavy Artillery” on May 15 in St. Louis, Mo.

“Given the usual rituals of Fedor’s trainers, they don’t like him watching (potential) future opponents, or anything violent for that matter in preparation to his fight,” said Kogan.

In Overeem’s post-fight address to the St. Louis crowd, the 30-year-old Dutch fighter stated that M-1 Global had turned down offers to have Emelianenko fight him.

Kogan said those accusations were “categorically untrue” and that Overeem and his Golden Glory team are continuing to “rumor monger” to secure a fight with Emelianenko.

Kogan, who joined M-1 Global’s staff last winter, said that, to his knowledge, an official offer to face Overeem has never been presented to the management team.

“If (Overeem) can point to where Fedor turned down a proposed fight, we’d like to hear it,” said Kogan.

Following the heavyweight champion’s strong performance on May 15, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker voiced his intentions to sit down with M-1 Global following Emelianenko’s bout with Werdum to discuss a title bout. Kogan said his organization, which is co-promoting the June 26 event with Strikeforce, is completely open to talks with its U.S. partner for a potential Overeem-Emelianenko bout.

“His camp is definitely not looking past Werdum,” said Kogan. “They consider him a dangerous opponent. That being said, we have nothing against Overeem as an opponent and we’re completely open to discussing that fight after June 26, if Fedor does well.”

Kogan confirmed that the multi-time Russian Sambo champion hasn’t veered from his usual training regimen in his hometown of Stary Oskol, which is located in an isolated region of southern Russia. The rep said Emelianenko is in final week of the most arduous part of his training.

Strikeforce “Los Angeles” and “Fedor vs. Werdum” will both air live on Showtime.

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