-Vadim, about the recent Internet rumor that last year Dana White offered Fedor to fight in the UFC against Brock Lesnar, tell us how it really was?
-It’s true, there was an offer from Lorenzo Fertitta and not from Dana White. It was a good offer, but Fedor did not agree. He said that he had ended his career and had no plans to return, but if he was he would let them know. Although this was a good offer, he had already been given a state position and had to refuse.
-There are rumors that Fedor could still come back, what do you think?
-But there is a possibility though, because surely Fedor must feel more comfortable in the ring than in the offices of the government?
-No. All this is nonsense. He is very comfortable in his position. I still think he is capable to compete, but he does not want to. Fedor is that kind of person, when he has made a decision he stands by it. But if he still has the desire to go back to MMA, I’ll be very glad. It’s not about the money, but the fact that he can still please his fans. He’s not that old to retire, he still has a few years left. He’s still strong and has no serious injuries.
-How does the M-1 feel now that Fedor is gone?
-We’re doing great. We were never dependent on Fedor. Now we’re doing the Grand Prix of heavyweights. The first round will be on April 9. in St. Petersburg and the semi-finals May 22 in Moscow, Crocus City –The largest business center in Russia. Our fighters are all very strong and they are very motivated for this tournament. We wanted to involve Sergey Kharitonov, but we have not yet come to an agreement.
-Alexander has other plans. He’s doing his own thing at the moment and will not participate in the Grand Prix tournament.
This tournament will be great. We’ve changed the ring. It will be 8 corners and 6 sides, each side will be 8 meters in length. The first two ropes will have mesh and the three upper ropes will be as usual. Let me explain; if the fighters end up on the ground, we won’t have to stop the fight and turn them in against the center. If the fighters are standing you’ll be able to see them much better than if they were fighting in a cage. In stand up fights the fighters will not be able to press one another against the sides for too long because of the elastic ropes. This concept combines the best qualities of both the ring and the cage. I think this is the best option. I will patent this new ring so no one can copy it. It will be a little more than the usual size of a ring and also a little more expensive.
-What other surprises does M-1 have in store for us?
-Really great fights.
-What is the right name for your organization, is it M-1 or MMA-1?
-The right name is M-1, but MMA(Mixed Martial Arts)-1 is the name of the transcript.
-The UFC is going to tournament in Russia, what do you think about that?
-Because from Bellator the good fighters move to UFC, and those that remain are not better than M-1 fighters. Forexample Zayats and Volkov were not the best fighters in the M-1 organization, but in Bellator they are perhaps the best. UFC is the best organization, but our level is higher than Bellator. I don’t understand when he competes in America in low-level organizations that makes him much cooler than here in Russia. I just don’t understand it.
-First of all, I cannot give away this kind of information.
Second, it would depend on the number of paid broadcasts.
-I actually don’t know exactly how much Fedor would cost today because I’m unsure of his current market value.
-If Fedor did return, what is the most interesting fight you could arrange?
-I don’t think there is a more attractive opponent than Brock Lesnar. Because they are both MMA legends. Every MMA fan want this fight to happen. Also some of todays UFC champions would be a great fight, forexample Velasquez. But I think this is a new generation. Might have been interesting to see Fedor vs Randy Couture, but he’s old.