As much as Randy Couture hopes to someday fight Fedor Emelianenko, he admits that it won’t be happening anytime soon. Fedor recently signed a contract to fight for Strikeforce, diminishing Couture’s hopes to fight the Russian heavyweight who many call the top fighter in MMA.
“There was a window here when I thought he might sign with the UFC and I might get a shot at him,” Couture stated during an interview with FanHouse. “But like I said, I wasn’t going to hold my breath, and contractually I’m bound to the UFC.”
Fedor turned down a rumored $3-5 million per fight offer from the UFC due to disputes over promotional rights. Fedor wanted his company M-1 Global to be promotional partners with the UFC, but UFC officials refused.
“With all the things M-1 Global wanted, there was no way the UFC was going to get that done,” Couture said. “I think [Strikeforce boss] Scott Coker’s willingness to do a co-promotion with M-1 is what made the difference to allow Fedor to sign.”
And now with the Russian heavyweight’s presence, many say Strikeforce is becoming a top contender with the UFC.
“The back-and-forth is starting now between the UFC and Strikeforce,” Couture said Tuesday. “There were a lot of competitors out there for the UFC, and Strikeforce is the last one standing. So it was only a matter of time before the adversarial relationship started between them, I think, with the Affliction stuff and those contracts being up in the air and both organizations trying to sign those fighters.”
Some fighters who could ultimately become Fedor’s opponents in the organization include Alistair Overeem and Brett Rogers. But Couture says he wants a chance to fight “one of the top heavyweights in MMA.”
“The guy is very impressive, with what he did to Tim Sylvia and Andrei Arlovski, and then going back to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and all the other people he’s defeated. He wins his fights in pretty devastating fashion most of the time. Most people consider him the best heavyweight, and as a fighter, those are the people you want to fight. You want to fight the best guy.”