How much is the love of a longtime MMA fan worth?

According to M-1 Global, the answer is $29.95, or at least so it seems after the organization stamped the sizeable price tag onto their November 20 offering featuring Fedor Emelianenko attempting to do what was once unthinkable and snap a three-fight skid. The legendary Russian will face forgettable former UFC contender Jeff Monson who has won nine of his last ten tussles and could end Emelianenko’s career with an upset win when they mix it up in Moscow.

The rest of the card is as bland as lukewarm bowlful of Water Soup, boasting a lineup full of hard-to-pronounce M-1 products and a lone semi-recognizable fighter in the form of Xavier Foupa-Pokam who has lost seven of his last eight fights including four straight finishes. In summation, let’s just say that by comparison UFC 138 looks like UFC 100.

P.S. – It airs live at 7:00 AM EST in case your snooze button is broken.

To think one of the greatest fighters in MMA history has been relegated to such circumstances would make Shakespeare shed a tear; a humble, hard-working man whose principles mean more to him than his paydays being taken advantage of by people pretending to protect his legacy.

As much discussion as there’s been regarding the negotiations between M-1 Global and the UFC three years ago when Emelianenko was a free agent, I’d wager the UFC would have still signed “The Last Emperor” even after his trio of defeats in Strikeforce albeit to a less lucrative deal obviously. He could have ended his career on the sport’s biggest stage or even recaptured some of his former glory if booked right. However, because M-1 is so adamant on certain stipulations in a contract no other fighter on the planet cares about, the 35-year old is facing Monson in what will equate to a bout people check online headlines for, not wake up and watch let alone pay for.

Based on the PPV pricing coupled with the promotion’s pathetic attempt at surrounding a MMA icon with complimentary talent it’s clear to me M-1 is milking Emelianenko for all they can at this point. He is the Ton-Ton from Empire Strikes Back, they are Han Solo riding him to the brink of exhaustion before he keels over to die. And, when that does happen and he retires for good, rest assured Vadim Finkelstein will slice open his belly to slide inside to stay warm for as long as he can.

What do you think about the subject on today’s “Opening Round”? Tell us on our Twitter account (@mmatraining)!