Fedor Emelianenko is taking part in the brand new Rizin Fighting Federation events this December, but his former manager is already speaking out against the new promotion from former Pride boss Nobuyuki Sakakibara.
In comments made via the M-1 Global website, Vadim Finkelchtein heavily criticized the opponent reported for Emelianenko’s New Year’s Eve headlining slot, Jaideep Singh, and had some further choice words for the new organization itself.
“No, definitely it isn’t,” Finkelchtein responded when asked if Singh was a proper matchup for Emelianenko. “But… Fedor makes all the decisions by himself now. In our past, all troubles and accusations used to befall on me. They said that I was the reason that Fedor didn’t fight in UFC. But now I say officially: I don’t have any relations to this one. Nothing. As for Jaideep Singh, I think he is no match to Fedor Emelianenko. Too weak opposition for him.
“…[Rizin] offered me to join. About one year ago Sakakibara called me. But I didn’t take it seriously. I don’t believe in such projects. Look, I have a company and many contracts with Television. How we will share this? Who will own all of this? Should I keep it, or Japanese will take it from me, or will we cut it somehow? And what if I have already obligations to some Japanese TV-channel? My professional opinion – all they do now is some kind of shady enterprise. But I don’t have enough info – so let’s see where will they come in the end.”
Emelianenko’s opponent hasn’t yet been officially announced, but he’ll headline the second of two cards held within three days, with the event airing in the U.S. on tape delay on Spike.
Penick’s Analysis: It’s not as if Finkelchtein is a bastion of credulity in the sport, but it’s also not a good look for Emelianenko and the new promotion to have someone like Finkelchtein speaking out against the organization, either. It’s an odd set up for the former Pride boss, as it seems he’s getting funding in some capacity, but also working with numerous organizations in order to populate the cards with legitimate competitors. If Emelianenko winds up fighting Singh, it’s very clearly a setup to get Emelianko a victory and nothing more. Then again, the options in the division are few as it stands, so they don’t really have many – if any – valid options to begin with.