The Los Angeles Times posted an article yesterday about Fedor Emelianenko’s management pushing for a one-fight deal with the UFC. Emelianenko, whose contract with Affliction ends with his fight with Josh Barnett on August 1st at Affliction: Trilogy, had once agreed to a contract offer from the UFC, however the written contract was supposedly different from the one that was agreed to.
Joost Raimond, the operations manager of Emelianenko’s global promotion company M-1, invited the winner of the Brock Lesnar – Frank Mir UFC Heavyweight Championship fight at UFC 100 on July 11th to attend the Affliction show, and stated that they want the UFC to allow Fedor to fight on a card fully run by the UFC, albeit under a one-fight contract.
“The fans can come out and push for this, and make it happen,” Raimond said.
“They want the fighter’s mind, soul, body, heritage and his two cats and dog if they can get it,” Raimond continued. “Let’s not do this with Fedor. Let’s try to figure out how to do this, because Fedor is willing to fight anyone, anytime, anywhere. We have an exceptional fighter here. People are saying, ‘Let’s see him fight the best.’ ”
UFC President Dana White has often noted that he wants Emelianenko in the UFC, telling the Boston Herald last October that “I want Fedor to come in and fight the best. At the end of the day, I’m a fight fan.” He has often noted that Emelianenko’s management have always been the ones preventing a deal from happening.
When asked if Emelianenko would consider joining the UFC if he were presented a better contract than the one he was offered in 2007, Raimond replied, “We’ll look at it.”
“Under the present [contractual] conditions, nothing will be considered for any amount of money. That last contract they offered us doesn’t work out.”
It’s thinking like that from Raimond which seems to guarantee that we will never see Emelianenko in the UFC. The UFC has very little, other than a possible one-time buy rate, to gain from Emelianenko signing for a one-fight deal. The only way it would be beneficial were if Emelianenko were signed and lost to someone like a Randy Couture or Brock Lesnar. However, since anything can happen in MMA and an Emelianenko victory is likely against any opponent the UFC puts in front of him, all they would be doing is making Emelianenko an even more marketable free agent.
Here’s hoping that one day the UFC and Emelianenko can work out their differences, and we will get to see the ‘The Last Emperor’ inside the octagon.