‘Fighting Fedor’ Reality Show in Works

By Joe Hall Oct 16, 2008
NEW YORK -- Affliction has partnered with M-1 Global, which is shopping around a reality TV series called “Fighting Fedor” that will feature a 16-man tournament with the winner eventually getting a shot at Fedor Emelianenko on an Affliction card.

The partnership was officially announced Thursday at Trump Tower, along with some details on the show.

A promo video presented by M-1 Global explained that participants from various countries will travel to St. Petersburg, Russia, where they’ll train at the Red Devil camp and compete in the tournament. The video said the show will be on “American TV,” though it doesn’t have a home yet.

“We’re currently having negotiations with many different networks and channels,” said M-1 Global President Vadim Finkelchtein through an interpreter.

Finkelchtein said networks are particularly interested because the show will focus on heavyweights. He also noted the international scope of M-1 Global, which through the M-1 Challenge has hosted events this year in Spain, Holland, England, Korea and Japan.

“There are many international fighters that the United States doesn’t know about,” Finkelchtein said. “Fighters from countries such as Bulgaria, Finland. Fighters that have very interesting and wonderful styles and are very exciting. We’re now opening the doors to breed the next generation of MMA fighters.”

M-1 Global and Affliction declined to set a timeline for when the show could begin production or air. However, Affliction Vice President Tom Atencio did say that Fedor would continue competing in the meantime, with his next match taking place in the “first quarter of 2009.” Atencio added that Affliction has extended its contract with the top-ranked heavyweight.

Donald Trump, who is also aligned with Affliction, mentioned the success of his reality show, “The Apprentice,” before assessing the potential of the Fedor show.

“I really believe, in its own way, this will be a great success,” he said.

Trump will travel to St. Petersburg at some point, though he won’t play a significant role. Although he was confident the show would succeed, he jokingly questioned the judgment of the 16 participants.

“I don’t know who these folks are that are trying to qualify to get a fight with Fedor,” he said. “I wouldn’t particularly like to do that. I can think of a lot of other things I’d rather be doing.”
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