("Evgeni, remind me to thank Scott Coker for these swans when we get to L.A. Dana White never bought me waterfowl.")
Call me cynical, but it’s seeming more and more unlikely that we’ll ever see Fedor Emelianenko in the UFC’s Octagon.
Many will recite the old "never say, ‘never,’" saying, but when you look at what both sides are saying, it’s seeming like an implausibility.
On last week’s Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Werdum conference call, the coveted Russian fighter revealed that he isn’t a fan of the UFC, due in large part to the disrespect shown by it fighters towards one another.
"What I meant to say was, I’m not a fan of watching [the UFCs] fights. Compared to the commercials, the promotion and anticipation of their fights and the shows I’ve seen, there seems to be a negativity in a lot of their shows, so I’m just not a fan of watching their programs," Fedor explained through an interpreter who apparently left out that Emelianenko said he is considering retiring in the not-too-distant future. "In some ways how the fights are presented, and the manner that they’re presented. Also, in some ways, the actions and behavior of some of the fighters in the UFC. It takes away from the sport."
I guess Fedor didn’t tune in to see how his fellow SF fighters treated each other during the Strikeforce: Nashville brawl.
Emelianenko’s management team, M-1 Global, has held steadfast to its demand that the only way a fight with Fedor in the UFC would take place is if they were allowed to co-promote the show — something UFC president Dana White says will never happen.
White explained his stance in a recent interview with Miami’s 790 "The Ticket" radio station, intimating that M-1 may be avoiding his guys like UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar and number one contender Shane Carwin:
“It will never happen in a million years. They are a minor league. Listen I have come to the realization and everyone else needs to too that Fedor doesn’t want to fight the best guys in the world. Believe me when I tell you guys I have done everything in my power, I have flown to crazy parts of the world, done all this stuff, been on the phone for hours, not hung out with my kids on weekends because I’m on the phone with these lunatics and just can’t make the deal. They don’t want to do it so we gotta get over it.”
Lastly, M-1 executive Evgeni Kogan told MMAFighting’s Ariel Helwani today that expecting Fedor to go to the UFC to face guys with only a handful of fights (like Lesnar) on their records or who have only been fighting a handful of years (like, say, Brett Rogers), would be a slap in the face for someone with the experience and record of "The Last Emperor."
"If, in a perfect world, he could be fighting anyone at heavyweight, I think there could be fights that are more interesting. In a perfect world. [Emelianenko] is at the top of his sport for ten years. I think to compare him or say he needs to fight people who have had three or four fights or five fights, I don’t think it’s doing justice to his career. It’s not holding him up in the light that he should be held up in. It’s not doing him justice."