http://www.sherdog.com/news/articles.asp?n_id=9642 Mitchell Maxwell, chairman of M-1 Global, doesn't know much about MMA. Just ask him, and he'll be the first to tell you that his past 10 weeks have been a whirlwind introduction to the sport. What Maxwell does know is the entertainment business. After spending 34 years producing successful plays and building entertainment companies from the ground up, he has the kind of business savvy that can translate to any endeavor. With that said, don't expect him to come out spewing the same kind of braggadocio that marked the debuts of would-be MMA usurpers like the WFA. At the same time, he's pulling no punches when it comes to M-1 taking on the UFC juggernaut. "I don't want to be arrogant myself, but there has to be a certain amount of arrogance in oneself when you get in the ring if you're a fighter or a businessman," Maxwell said Monday at M-1 Global's news conference. "You believe you can do better than anyone else." With the consensus best fighter alive, Fedor Emelianenko (Pictures), already on board, M-1 has arguably the biggest playing chip in the sport. They'll need it to overcome the UFC's domestic presence. The new company's first event is slated for February in Chicago, and there is no question that they intend to take the fight right to the UFC. "It's a challenge, and I would be really guilty of hubris if I said it wasn't a challenge and that the UFC was not worthy of respect," Maxwell said. "But I do believe that because of the way the UFC has treated their fighters, there is unrest within their camp." Maxwell and the rest of M-1 are clearly banking on Randy Couture (Pictures)'s recent resignation being indicative of a larger rift between the UFC's talent pool and higher-ups. Whether or not that rift is real or imagined is something that M-1 and Maxwell intend to hash out on the free-agent market. "We come to the table with money," Maxwell said. "We're not apologetic about the fact that it costs money to do this." Having already made a significant investment in Emelianenko not only as a fighter but as a sports icon who can carry the M-1 name and lure other fighters into the fold, Maxwell made no bones about M-1's intention to not only eclipse the UFC but to do it in a shockingly short period of time. "We have a two-year plan, and if we're fortunate we can get Fedor to fight Randy Couture (Pictures) in September of 2008," he said. "If we're fortunate for that to happen it would accelerate our program." The notion of such a fight taking place in M-1 immediately brings to mind the controversy surrounding the nature of Couture's contract with the UFC. Claiming intimate knowledge of Couture's contract situation, Maxwell exuded nothing but confidence when prodded on the issue of M-1 putting together the biggest fight in MMA history. Having the best fighter in MMA is one thing. Potentially signing the most recognizable name in the sport is another matter entirely. Ultimately, M-1 signing Fedor may end up being a financial gambit that also entices Randy Couture (Pictures) into helping the organization fulfill its ambitious two-year plan. Even if such a scenario were to play out, some MMA followers would still wonder whether M-1 will eventually become just another organization acquired by the UFC. Maxwell is asking for a little faith from a community of often jaded fans. "I understand that the fans make any sport, but I think everyone deserves the benefit of the doubt," he said. "Until someone betrays you in this company, assume no one has betrayed you." A splash like M-1 Global has already made in MMA waters will certainly buy Maxwell and M-1 the faith he requests. Just how long that faith lasts, though, will come down to whether the company can deliver on its promise to revolutionize MMA.