Fans of a possible Randy Couture vs. Fedor Emelianenko fight were crushed, along with Couture, after his loss to newly minted UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar.
Talk of the long sought after match up was beginning to heat up again, but appeared contingent upon a Couture victory in his fight against Lesnar who ultimately proved to be a little too much for Couture to handle.
However, while the fight appears unlikely, both Randy Couture and UFC president Dana White offered a shred of hope for the match up in separate interviews yesterday.
Couture addressed the topic while taking part in a Fan Q and A session for the UFC.
“Obviously everybody makes a pretty big deal out of Fedor, and that’s the guy I pushed for a long time to be able to fight,” said Couture. “There’s obviously still a chance that could happen. I still believe that I can beat him. If I had my druthers, that would be the guy at the top of [my] list for sure.”
The biggest obstacle to making the fight has been the inability of the UFC and Emelianenko to come to contractual terms.
Emelianenko’s management team insists that the UFC’s terms are unreasonable and oppressive, but have remained open to working with the company, while the UFC contends that they have a brand to protect and that the terms can’t be that unreasonable if so many other fighters are happy to fight under them.
It has remained an impenetrable impasse since the two sides began negotiations more than a year ago after PRIDE folded and was ultimately purchased by the UFC.
Asked about the state of the match up between Couture and Emelianenko, White continues to leave the door of possibility slightly ajar.
“God, I hope so,” said White. “That’s not up to me. I can only try so much. There’s only so much I can do.”