Vadim Finkelstein is trying to arrange a fight between Aleksander Emelianenko and Sergei Kharitonov.
The MMA-1 head - the group recently changed its name from M-1 - knows that the two have a bitter rivalry which should translate well at the box office.
“I will do everything I can to make this fight happen,” he told Russian website SportBox this week.
Kharitonov and Emelianenko have a well-documented rivalry that spilled out into heated insults being traded back and forth via the pages of Russian sports websites late last year.
The pair weaved a rich tapestry of mutual degradation, including Kharitonov’s assertion that Emelianenko was “a drunken, diseased drug addict”.
Emelianenko responded by claiming that it was he who was responsible for Kharitonov’s dressing as a paratrooper for his Pride FC fights, and that Kharitonov’s time in the military had actually been in a non-combative role.
Kharitonov has more of an air of legitimacy however, not least because his career has never hit the skids in the way that the younger Emelianenko’s has. Aleks also has a reputation as a teller of tall tales, while Kharitonov is the very picture of stoic Russian straightforwardness.
Aleksander saw his international career effectively come to an end when he was removed from the Affliction MMA debut card at the last minute. The official reason was only given as him being “license denied” but rumours immediately circulated that he had tested positive for hepatitis in pre-fight medicals.
He always denied that but it is notable that since being removed from the Affliction card he has only fought in Russia, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan. None of those countries have athletic commissions. Emelianenko once produced a report, apparently from an Italian medical centre, which stated he was clear of hepatitis but Kharitonov is having none of it.
“All organizations in the world know about his hepatitis C and nobody wants to have business with him. He has drunk himself into this disease. He is drug addicted alcoholic and criminal. All his disrespectful remarks to the athletes are just a bullshit,” he told ValeTudo.ru
“How can he fight with hepatitis? Nobody’s gonna take him to any tournament. He lies that he hasn’t been to prison but it’s not true. He has.”