Fedor Emelianenko (pictured) quietly retired from fighting 16 months ago, but the most decorated heavyweight champion in MMA history came storming back into the spotlight last week when he blamed UFC president Dana White for never competing inside the Octagon.
Emelianenko claimed White was loud, insulting and didn’t like him (probably all true) and that’s why they were never able to close a deal.
The boisterous White returned fire Thursday and clarified what went down when the UFC tried to sign the free agent.
“We made every big fight with every fighter since we bought this company,” White boasted. “You don’t think we wanted to do Fedor vs. Brock Lesnar? I f****** wanted to make that fight so bad.
“Brock wanted that fight. Brock wanted that fight bad. I wanted that fight bad. It sucks.”
According to White, he and UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta met with Team Fedor and offered an “insane” contract that made no sense, but they did it anyway. However, they were laughed at by Emelianenko’s representatives when the papers were slid across the table.
“Dude, when I tell you that we did everything – someday I’ll tell you the story of how much we offered that f*****, too,” White stated. “People will f****** s***. [The deal] made no sense [for us].
“Literally, when we got on the plane to fly back, we were like, ‘Thank f****** God they turned that offer down.’”
White added that Fertitta negotiated with Team Fedor on two separate occasions without him. Still, Fertitta wasn’t able to seal the deal because the Russians were allegedly making outrageous demands.
“We had to build a f****** stadium in Russia, and we had to do all this stupid s***, stuff that no normal f****** human being would do,” White said. “And now they lay in bed every night and regret not doing that deal.
“I explained this to Fedor. We’re catching a moment in time, right here, right now, where this fight between you and Brock Lesnar will be f****** massive. We’re talking Dallas, Texas Stadium. This huge fight between these two big heavyweight guys. We’re laying this massive f****** offer on the table.’ I said, ‘You’re one punch away from being worth f****** zero.’”
Lo and behold, Emelianenko gets submitted by Fabricio Werdum, mauled by Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva and put to sleep by Dan Henderson in successive matches. Although he rallied to rattle off three straight wins before calling it quits, that three-fight span marked the end of “The Last Emperor” era.
“Maybe he was [the best heavyweight in the world],” White acknowledged. “Maybe he was when he was fighting in Pride. Maybe he was. I don’t know, because we never got to make some of the fights we wanted to make.
“Who knows? Maybe Fedor knocks out Brock, because we saw Brock against guys that hit hard. And that’s probably what [Fedor and manager Vadim Finkelstein] look at now, like, ‘Goddamn. [We should have taken the UFC's offer].’”
Emelianenko made his claim to fame for his vast accomplishments in Japan’s PrideFC in the early-mid 2000′s. At one stage during his illustrious career, Emelianenko had rattled off 27 consecutive Ws.
He hung up his gloves with a 35-4 (1 NC) professional record.