“It doesn’t phase me what [Dana White] says. [The UFC] can talk, but I just don’t see it happening, personally. But if it does, then perfect. As a fan, that’s something that I would love to see…[Contract negotiations with Fedor] are going, they’re good. We’ve almost finalized it, but we just haven’t signed the papers. That’s really where we’re at. Everything is moving forward, it has nothing to do with anything but the fact that we’re just trying to make everybody happy, as I always do. We have a great relationship with [M-1] and we’re always going to continue on with that, and that’s why I’m not too worried about things…[Fedor’s representatives] always tell us what’s going on. We’re partners and that’s what you have to do in a partnership. They’ve talked to the UFC in the past, we’ve talked to the UFC in the past. The UFC does not co-promote. The UFC doesn’t want to work with other people and that’s really what it comes down to. That’s why I am confident that I don’t see it happening. But, if it happens, I think it’s great. I want to see fighters fight the best in the world.”
—Tom Atencio, via FightLine.com, responding to Dana White’s latest proclamation about signing Fedor Emelianenko
I don’t want to beat a dead horse here, but honestly, unless Affliction calls it a day after “Trilogy,” I fully expect Fedor to re-sign with Affliction. If they can’t, they might as well close up shop anyways since their promotion is basically built around him. As much as we’d all love to see Fedor in the UFC, and think the stars may finally be aligning, let’s not forget that Fedor doesn’t give a damn whether he ever steps foot in the Octagon. For it to happen (if Affliction doesn’t fold), Lorenzo’s going to have to make another “can’t refuse” offer, and I’m afraid to M-1 that’s a little bit more than large sums of money.
Hopefully, I’m wrong, but speaking of Lorenzo, he made a few comments about Fedor this past weekend too.
“Right now, Fedor’s completely irrelevant to the public. His pay-per-view numbers have been 12,000, 30,000, and now Affliction is saying he’ll get 100,000 [against Josh Barnett]. I’ll take the under-70,000. We average 500,000 buys and we expect 1 million for this one…Fedor wants to use UFC for a fight to be relevant, and then leave and do his own thing. That’s not our business model…We spend more money for marketing than anyone has ever spent on Fedor. If I bring in Fedor, we’ll make him the most recognizable face in MMA, but we also want to recoup on our investment. You wouldn’t sign Tom Brady for one game. So why do I want to sign this guy for one fight?”
To make us fans happy Lorenzo, to make us, your fans, freakin’ happy. That’s why.