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суббота, 1 августа 2009 г.

Fedor/UFC story - innocent or guilty

Vadim Finkelstein I believe is the most to blame. Why? Because he is a manager and it is his duty to act in the interests of Fedor as a fighter. Fedor chose Vadim to make money. That is what Fedor wanted to do.

Instead of helping Fedor achieve this goal + give pride to his country, Vadim and M1 set this co-promotion demand which has nothing to do with Fedor as a fighter. He is trying to build M1 Global and managed to convince Fedor that this was the way to go.

Only problem is that Vadim does not really understand that

a) by not signing with the UFC, Fedor's record will be permanently damaged together with his career. Lets be realistic here, Fedor needs to fight Brock Lesnar. He also needs and wants to be known to the US audience and UFC can give this to him and no other promotion.

b) UFC would never go for the co-promotion deal. Dana White is first of all a business man no matter what kind of crap comes out of his mouth when he talks about different fighters whether they are in the UFC or not. No business person would ever agree to the co-promotion demand, its just a rule of business. Fedor is just another fighter, and that is what he is being treated as.

Here the problem is that Vadim, or someone else managed to convince Fedor that he will do a lot for his country by leveraging his career to build M1 Global. I think Fedor is also a bit to blame for this for not listening to other opinions, but really he is a sports person and he has a manager who should take care of this. (i am really disappointed in Fedor though, he will lose many fans this way)

What Fedor does not see is that M1 Global guys like Vadim are actually not very good business men. In fact they are lousy business people. They were basically entrepreneurs who took Fedor, and a bunch of decent guys and built a small promotion without any solid business foundations. By solid business foundations I mean they don't have the distribution channel and media partnerships to have a sound business model. They don't understand sound business concepts (that UFC execs do) that it will never make sense to promote competition. They see opportunities, deals they can make with the chance to make the M1 business a bit bigger, short-cuts. Fedor is just one of these deals for them. Instead of building M1, getting fights aired over the Internet, over cable, satellite, they try to do these small deals. This will never work because fighters don't make business. Fighters make events, and they make short-term profit for promotions but in the long run it is the business model that counts. In the longer term the fighters themselves change entirely.

I am not doubting that Fedor would help promote UFC further, but it will not change the business in the long-term. If M1 Global, and to be honest I doubt they have any chance even if they merged with all the other promotions and got professional management, became a serious competitor, this would affect UFC. M1 cannot make any short-cuts and they need to build a real platform, a real business and Fedor can hardly help them to do this.

If you don't believe me, just open the UFC website and then open the M1 Global website. Just take a look at the difference here. M1 Global talks on and on about how it wants to build mixed martial arts in Russia but what have they really achieved so far? Nobody knows about MMA in Russia. Vadim despite even getting Putin's attention by having Fedor could not even get the Fedor vs Barnett fight aired on state television. They were going to air a recording of it at 1 or 2 am when next to nobody watches TV.

Maybe Dana White is sometimes disrespectful, but M1 Global seems to be far worse. They are ruining the number 1 fighters career and life.

Fedor wants to do something for Russia. By winning the UFC belt he would do more for his country and for his fans than any help he can offer M1. Its a shame that there seems to be no one that can convince him of doing so, and earning some money for his family along the way which was the reason he got in to mma in the first place.

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