(“Here we are, protected, free to make our profits without Kefauver, the goddamn Justice Department and the F.B.I. ninety miles away, in partnership with a friendly government. Michael, we’re bigger than U.S. Steel.” PicProps: Sho.com)
As the great poet Everlast once wrote, when it comes publicly remarking on the misfortunes of others you should always “clean up your own backyard, before you go knocking on your neighbor’s door.” Unfortunately, it appears the executives at M-1 Global were not heavy enough into the Caucasian hip-hop scene of the early 1990s to heed that warning. Or perhaps our fanciful western notions about stones and glass houses just don’t translate well into Russian. Whatever the reason, the CEO of the world’s most popular Rent-a-Fedor service cut an interview with a website in the Motherland this week during which he said he knew all along that Brock Lesnar would lose to Cain Velasquez at UFC 121.
“Brock Lesnar’s defeat did not surprise me,” Vadim Finkelstein told Championat.ru, with props to LowKick.com for the translation. “I expected him to lose, so it was (not surprising) … I always knew that Brock Lesnar will not have a long run as a champion. Brock was supposed to lose in his previous fight, but he was lucky when he managed to miraculously bounce back against Shane Carwin.”
Finkelstein further suggested that a fight between Fedor Emelianenko and Lesnar would look much the same as the Velasquez bout and that he doubted Lesnar’s ability to ever reclaim the UFC gold. We assume he made these comments calmly and without a hint of irony, as flames engulfed the room where he sat and the walls of his own castle crumbled around his shoulders.
After all, Finkelstein recently had to have his own cram session in dealing with crushing defeat. His position in MMA took a serious hit after Emelianenko swan dived into the waiting triangle choke of Fabricio Werdum back in June. If anybody knows how Lesnar feels right now, it ought to be Finkelstein.
In fact, a couple of the most interesting questions Championat.ru posed to Finkelstein – essentially: “Were you surprised Lesnar lost?” and “Do you think Lesnar is still relevant” – could have easily (and probably more appropriately) been asked about Emelianenko. Lesnar at least has fought twice during the last six months, while Fedor has responded to his loss to Werdum with yet another lengthy period of inactivity while trucking around the country pimping a video game with Randy Couture.
Give Finkelstein credit for taking a more measured approach to Lesnar’s loss than our own Fearless Leader did when Emelianenko got choked out. Finkelstein hasn’t posted any gloating Twitter messages yet, as far as we know. Still, if you replace the words “Brock Lesnar” with the words “Fedor Emelianenko” in the following quote, you’ll find that it still applies just as aptly:
“I don’t think people will forget about Brock Lesnar so quickly,” Finkelstein said. “At the moment he’s still quite a marketable product. People love to watch him fight, so why should (Dana) White lose his interest to that type of fighter? Lesnar is a capable fighter, he’s big and strong. He’ll still create some intrigue in the division. But still, I don’t think he’ll become a champion ever again.”
Despite the fact that Emelianenko has so far proven unwilling or incapable of fighting the heavyweight champ in his own promotion, Finkelstein contends that Fedor was totally down to fight Lesnar while he had the UFC title. Now? Eh, they’re more interested in a rematch with Werdum. Still, Finkelstein isn’t above teasing one last “Fedor to UFC” rumor on his way out the door.
“We were ready to fight Lesnar, anywhere and anytime, as long as he was a champion,” Finkelstein said. “Right now, he doesn’t really interest us as a fighter. We have a goal — a rematch against Fabricio Werdum. After this, everything is possible. If this fight will interest the viewer and the UFC will make it possible … why not?”