Fedor Emelianenko’s management looks to be doing all they can to keep the Russian out of the UFC. Vadim Finkelstein has claimed for quite some time that they haven’t made any outrageous contractual demands and simply don’t want to be tied down to one organization. However, Dana White has now come out and contradicted that very statement:
When I first met with these guys, I was with them in the U.K.,” said White. “They said to me, ‘Here’s what we want to do. My brother is the biggest rock concert promoter over there so here’s what we want. We want you to build an arena in Russia.’ I said, ‘Time out. I’m not looking to build arenas.
It seems to me like they may be asking the UFC for a bit more than any fighter is really worth. Building an arena is an incredible cost and that doesn’t even factor in Fedor’s salary. If Vadim and the rest of Fedor’s management team don’t join the rest of us in reality anytime soon, we’ll most certainly never see the WAMMA Heavyweight Champion in the UFC.
It’s a shame because Dana is now backing off his stance that Fedor is not one of the top five Heavyweights in the world. In fact, he admitted that Fedor is amongst the top five pound-for-pound fighters in the world.
Yes, he’s top five [pound-for-pound],” said White. “I say he’s top five. He can punch. I’ll say that.”
I say kudos to Dana for finally admitting what the rest of us already knew. Now when he claims that Anderson Silva and St. Pierre are the top two fighters in the world, at least we know that he does not only reserve these spots for UFC contracted athletes.
If Dana can have a change of heart, perhaps Fedor and his people can too?
Well, I’ll put it this way, don’t hold your breath.