Check out this interview with WAMMA World Heavyweight Champion Fedor Emelianenko. Bas Rutten asks Emelianenko point blank about fighting in UFC. His response isn’t likely to make UFC fans happy.
The timing of the interview is interesting. UFC president Dana White said the following about Fedor after UFC 100. “I want Fedor. Eventually, Fedor will come to the UFC. We’ll get that deal.” White added, “We’ll get Brock vs. Fedor done,” White said. This was the most confident that Dana White has sounded about Fedor.
These statements were curious since Time magazine got a different reaction from Dana a few days before UFC 100. “Let me put it to you this way, I’ve done fight contracts with all the best fighters in the world,” “With big huge superstars, Brock Lesnar, Chuck Liddell, the list goes on and on. Who the f— is Fedor? Are you serious? The guys who fight for me have a chance to make a lot more money fighting with me than with anybody else. If he signed with us, he’d find his place in history, find out if he really is the best heavyweight in the world. It’s all semantics. It’s all bulls—.”
The tug of war for Fedor has been a source of frustration for Dana White for quite some time now. White’s aired his frustrations in a January interview when discussing the former PRIDE FC star. “Who knows? Every time you think you’ve got some traction with these guys and you’re going to do something, they spin off and do something dumber than before. These guys keep making stupid moves. The problem is Fedor doesn’t control his destiny, his manager does. These guys are from Russia. It’s a whole nother world in Russia, man. Listen, in all the dealings we’ve had with Fedor, I’ve never even met Fedor. He doesn’t control his destiny, his manager does.” Notice how White is careful not to take any direct shots at Fedor.
“Who gives a s— about Fedor? I’m fighting Randy Couture. I don’t give a damn about Fedor. I’m sick and tired of hearing about f—ing Fedor,” said Brock back in September. Say what you will about Brock Lesnar, but the guy sure isn’t afraid to wear his emotions on his sleeve.
I think that the deal will get done at some point. However, Fedor is right on the brink of declining in skills after ten years of fighting at 32 years old. The only saving grace is that Fedor has barely fought since PRIDE FC was sold to UFC. I don’t think it is a matter of Fedor being scared to fight Brock Lesnar or Randy Couture. I think he is one of the few fighters that financially doesn’t need UFC and could benefit more as an owner/free agent.
I also have to question the sudden turnaround in Dana White’s attitude. White was interviewed on the last live UFC Spike TV telecast and talked about bringing Vitor Belfort back to UFC. I am almost starting to wonder if Dana is just screwing with Affliction at this point. Affliction VP Tom Atencio and Dana seem to have an ongoing war of words lately. Dana’s new found confidence in signing two Affliction fighters may simply be him having a little it of fun at Atenico’s expense.
The whole Fedor-UFC scenario reminds me a lot of a pro wrestling scenario from a few years back. In WCW, Bill Goldberg often criticized the WWE and Vince McMahon. Goldberg even once had a physical altercation with Triple H outside of the ring. Once WCW was sold, fans were dying to see Goldberg in the WWE. Goldberg who was once adamant about never working for Vince McMahon, wound up signing a one-year deal. The deal was and is still extremely rare for a WWE wrestler. It may take some kind of a creative and unique deal to get this done.
I think I speak for most fight fans when I say, just get it done!
Thanks to MMANews.com for the tip.
Fedor Emelianenko vs. Josh Barnett Affliction Promo
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