18 Nov 2008 12:24:40 PM
(Photo courtesy of ESPN.)
M-1 Vice President Jerry Millen released a lengthy statement to the media last night congratulating Randy Couture for his return to competition as well as Brock Lesnar for his UFC heavyweight championship win, while lambasting the UFC for marketing their fighters as the best in the world — when clearly it’s M-1′s own fighter, Fedor Emelianenko, who should hold that distinction. And there’s no secret who Fedor wants to take on next to prove it:
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Couture and WAMMA heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko had publicly acknowledged a desire to fight each other multiple times over the course of the past year. While M-1 and Fedor remain interested in a match against Couture, we would also like to publicly state for the record that we would welcome a superfight between Fedor and Lesnar that would be held as a co-promoted event between the UFC, M-1, and Affliction Entertainment.
We’ve invited the media to speak with us today to not only make it clear we would welcome a Fedor vs. Lesnar matchup, but to act in a preemptive fashion to address the possibility that UFC officials will try and position Lesnar as the number one heavyweight in the world, much like they have tried to use a marketing ploy to brand Anderson Silva as the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world.
In the past, UFC president Dana White and Zuffa, LLC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta have tried to claim that Fedor was “overrated” and that his “record was irrelevant.” They make these claims in spite of the fact that Fedor holds career victories over UFC champions past and present. While we have tremendous respect for the contributions Mr. Fertitta and Dana have made to this sport, we do not believe they are sincere in their statements.