Strikeforce has really struggled with their heavyweight tournament. You wonder if that is the reason UFC President Dana White has been on the record saying Strikeforce wasnt his thing?
Frontrunner and Strikeforce champion Alistair Overheem notably pulled out of the tournament. Well, he likely would have been exposed, though he is an awesome athlete and Strikeforce benefitted from his involvement, but little has been said about why he pulled out.
Now, I dont know this for sure, but this could certainly have to do with the management that handles the Dutchman.
What reminded me was a recent interview Dana White, the UFC President did, where he was talking about Fedor Emilianenko’s manangement, and there referred to someone he called ‘Vadummy’.
This reference is almost certainly a reference to Vadim Finkelstein, a Russian businessman who has for years controlled the career of Fedor. He is also the power behind the promotion known as M-1 Global and has run shows in Russia mainly, for more than a decade. Finkelstein also has deep ties with the Dutch production called ’2 Hot to Handle’, which is where Overeem started his career.
Overeem was favored in the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix, and he held there title. He was one of the promotion’s biggest and best assets, he is on a 4 year winning streak.
Now the UFC comes along and purchases Strikeforce. To most athletes this is a great sign, it should lead to greater competition and exposure and obviously to bigger paydays. Overeem should have been thrilled, and instead he pulls out of the organization? who is really calling the shots here, could it be ‘Vadummy’ again?
For years, the career of Fedor was guided by the management team led by Finkelstein, and his name value was used to follow a weird business plan that people like Dana White never could understand. And now, let’s be clear, Fedor is gone as an asset. After 3 losses and the poor negotiation results between the UFC and his management, it is clear we will never see Fedor in the UFC.
Why would someone in as seemingly a good position as Overeem suddenly pull out of Strikeforce? Is it the same management, or mismanagement that doomed Fedor now pulling the strings with Overeem? It is certainly possible…