Fedor's Camp Says UFC Door Not Completely Open

Written by Tom Ngo
October 25th, 2008

Just days after UFC president Dana White said that he would love to have Fedor Emelianenko come and fight against the premier talent that the UFC offers, the top ranked heavyweight’s manager says that it is all just talk. Vadim Finkelstein does give White credit for all that he has done to help MMA’s growth, however his selfishness is currently preventing the sport from getting to the next level.

“I truly believe Dana White did more for MMA than anybody else, but at the moment he is the one who hinders the sport’s progress,” Finkelstein stated in an email to MMAjunkie.com. “He seems like a man with a big tasty pie who’s afraid that someone comes and bites a piece of it.”

White portrays the UFC as an organization that is willing to work with anyone in order to bring in talent to produce the best MMA fights possible. There is no doubt that this is true, however Finkelstein, as well as many others within the MMA community, feel that once you’re in, you can’t get out.

“Dana says UFC’s doors are wide open,” said Finkelstein. “Maybe they are. But these doors also shut tightly once the fighter signs with the organization.”

As a prime example, Finkelstein brought up UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture’s dramatic resignation from the UFC. After sitting out a year in a bitter court battle to leave the organization, Couture discovered that he had no choice but to return to the UFC if he ever wanted to fight again.

“Randy Couture came back to the UFC and what now?” Finkelstein asked. “Instead of fighting the best in the promotion, he has to fight a young upstart with (a) 2-1 pro record (in Brock Lesnar). Couture might not survive all (of) the three contractual fights. I’m afraid that’s being made in order to finish the star, which is Randy, and not let him fight Fedor.”

Finkelstein, who is also the owner of M-1 Global, said that there is a slight possibility that something could be worked out down the road, however the UFC would have to be more flexible than what they have shown that they are willing to be.

“All we want is mutually beneficial cooperation, but the old conditions offered by UFC are simply unacceptable,” Finkelstein stated.

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