Photo via M-1 Global
Don't be scared, Finky.
M-1 Global’s majority owner and Fedor Emelianenko’s longtime manager, Vadim Finklelstein, isn't pulling any punches this time around. Not after the former PRIDE Heavyweight Champion suffered three consecutive losses.
His star fighter will try to get himself back into the win column when he takes on Jeff Monson at M-1 Global: "Fedor vs. Monson" on Nov. 20 from the Olympic Arena in Moscow, Russia, live on pay-per-view.
Fink tells Loretta Hunt at SI.com he's hoping Fedor's "luck" will return and that he will be free of any "psychological pressure" on fight night:
"Prior to his last fight (against Henderson), Fedor’s wife was giving birth right as he was flying over. He actually found out about the birth of his (third) daughter as he made a connecting flight in Germany on his way to Chicago. There were some medical complications with the birth and he was extremely worried. It was a difficult time and there was a lot of psychological pressure, so maybe he wasn’t all there in his mind. All I can do is hope is Fedor’s luck will return to him again. I’m always worried, though. I’m worried before this fight in November."
Emelianenko was recently released from his contract with Strikeforce after a first round technical knockout loss to Dan Henderson in late July. It marked the third consecutive defeat for "The Last Emperor," who amassed one of the most impressive career resumes in the history of organized fighting under the Pride FC banner prior to the slump.
The Russian cyborg, who has called five different promotions home during his decade-long career, refused to hang up the gloves after his most recent loss to Henderson, which he felt was perhaps stopped too soon.
He'll get his chance for redemption when he takes on the "Snowman," a 54-fight veteran, who has won eight of his last nine bouts against no one really that noteworthy.
Monson most recently dropped a unanimous decision to Daniel Cormier at Strikeforce: "Overeem vs. Werdum" on June 18, 2011. The American Top Team (ATT)-trained fighter looked every one of his 40 years, getting battered and bruised by the much quicker, and younger, heavyweight prospect.
Despite his lackluster performance, Monson, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt and a two-time ADCC champion, remains a significant threat to submit anyone if he can get the fight to the floor. Emelianenko, however, has been tapped just once (Fabricio Werdum) in 36 career fights.
Anyone think that M-1 Global is afraid the gravy train will no longer leave the station? Or is Finkelstein genuinely concerned about the welfare of his prize thoroughbred?
Anyone care to speculate?