With the recent rumor that Russian heavyweight great Fedor Emelianenko will retire from Mixed Martial Arts upon the conclusion of his contract with Strikeforce to pursue a career in politics circulating the internet, many MMA fans are worried that they may never get the chance to see “The Last Emperor” test his skills in the UFC. UFC President Dana White recently spoke with UK magazine Fighters Only and, when asked of his opinion on the rumor, offered his thoughts on Fedor and he also expressed his frustration at not being able to get a deal done with the enigmatic Russian.
“People can say whatever they want I don’t give a fuck,” White said to those who would criticize him for not being able to get Emelianenko under contract. “I know what I did, the things I have done and the places I have flown to try and get a deal done with Fedor. I did everything I possibly could to get a deal done.
“I have been to many places,” he added. “Met up with those guys in many places to try and get a deal done.”
White, like many who have dealt with Fedor, credits his management team, M-1 Global, for being the main reason that Fedor has not competed within the UFC’s eight-sided cage.
“I just don’t know what their endgame is,” White said of M-1. “I just don’t know what it is that they want. They don’t care about money, it doesn’t matter how much money you offer them they are not interested, its like you are spinning your wheels in the mud the whole time.
“Look at this business the last ten years – I have done deals with Tito, who I butted heads with a million times and hated, to Brock Lesnar, who is a huge superstar in the WWE, to Anderson Silva and James Toney. You look at the wide range of people I have made deals with – but I can’t make a deal with these guys.”
Like many, White believes that Fedor is risking his long-term reputation and status as a legend by not taking on the stiff competition that resides in the UFC.
“Yeah,” White responded when asked if Fedor is risking irrelevancy by not taking on the best heavyweights in the world. “But then some of these fuckin’ sites have still got him ranked as number one – and number one pound-for-pound too! That’s just a joke. Its ridiculous.”