This past February M-1 Global took a big hit when Gegard Mousasi announced that he would be parting ways with the organization. Gegard kept it professional by releasing this statement:
“After careful consideration, I have decided that it is in my best interest to part ways with M-1 Global. During the time I spent under their wing, M-1 Global, as a promoter and management company, allowed me to achieve many great things. I appreciate all they have done for me.”
Not much came of the situation in the following months. Gegard lost his Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Championship to “King” Mo in March and just recently secured a 31 second submission win over Jake O’Brian at DREAM.15 on July 10th.
In the mean time, M-1 Global Director of Operations, Evgani Kogan, was a guest on Ariel Helwani’s The MMA Hour and had this to say about the departure of Gegard:
“We’re working very hard towards getting him back into the fold, so-to-speak. Officially, he was never under contract with us. He never had an M-1 contract. His relationship with us was based on his relationship with one of the principles of our company, who is his manager. He’s someone we did a lot of work with, we did a lot of stuff for him, he did a lot of stuff for us. And then at some point during the last five or six months, because of the usual problems that ensue, he spoke out and said he was leaving us. There’s no animosity in that split, so-to-speak.”
Interesting. Not only does Kogan say that Gegard never actually had a contract with M-1 but also states that they are working together on entering into a new deal with the Dutch-Armenian fighter and all but grantees that it will in fact happen.
What’s more? MMAJunkie Radio has Gegard on as a guest and he had this to say when asked about the M-1 situation:
“No I’m not back. For I don’t know how many months they say they’re going to talk to you about, I don’t know what they want to talk about, but I never had that conversation. I’m still waiting. So I don’t know what they want to tell me, if they want to offer me anything. I don’t know what the deal is. I’m still waiting and frankly…yea. I’m not very interested to go back unless it’s a good deal, but I really don’t know what they want to talk about. I’m still waiting.”
On why they parted ways in the first place:
“Basically they offered the contract, I didn’t ask for a contract. I never had a contract with them. So they said they were going to offer me this contract to fight for M-1 and I thought it was a good deal, eventually I signed everything. So when it was their turn to sign, they so, “no we don’t want to sign”. So it’s basically, they offered me something and then, I’m agreeing on what they’re offering and then they say, “oh no, we’re changing out minds”. I didn’t like that so that’s why I say I don’t want to have to do anything with M-1.”
More from Gegard about M-1:
“I’m just curious about what the conversation is. It’s not like I’m going back. We’re going to have a talk. Because my manager worked in M-1, or used to work there, so I have a lot of people that worked in M-1 that are friends of mine. So it’s always been a close relationship. It’s not like they’re enemies or anything.”
When analyzing all of this you can’t help but notice how Kogan completely neglects to mention them pulling out of the Mousasi deal at the last minute. He also makes a point to say how close they are to re-signing him when Gegard seems to be the one waiting to hear something from them. They both seem to agree on the fact that neither is an enemy of the other and that the door still seems to be open for negotiations, but from the sounds of it, it doesn’t seem like Gegard wants to go down that road. He seems like a classy individual who would take offense to be left out to dry by any organization.
M-1 already doesn’t have the best track record. To most casual fans they are the reason that Fedor Emelianenko isn’t in the UFC. It’s also speculated that they are the reason an Overeem vs Fedor match up never came to fruition. Now they have made several comments about wanting to see a rematch between Fedor and Werdum, saying that’s the only fight fans want to see. Even sending this half threatening message to Strikeforce about the whole Fedor/Werdum/Overeem situation.
“If they want to renegotiate (Fedor’s contract) they need to listen to our opinion”.
Between all the conflicting reports that seem to always be coming out about M-1, their desire to keep Fedor away from one of the only legit threats he has in Strikeforce (Overeem), and now this. Gegard is a classy guy, so it’s no surprise that he kept this quiet until he was directly asked by someone. He seems like an honest and upfront guy. For his sake, I hope he stays away from M-1 in the future.
http://mmajunkie.com/misc/radio.mma (July 16, 2010 show)