There have been no shortage of jabs thrown at WAMMA heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko from UFC president Dana White since the fiery promoter wasn’t able to close a deal to sign the free agent nearly two years ago. White has stated that the Russian is overrated, and stopped just short of saying that his impressive 28-1 record is all but meaningless since none of it happened in the UFC.
“I do not pay too much attention to what Dana White says in the media,” Emelianenko said. “He is trying to sell one thing as good and make you not buy another thing by saying it is bad. I just want to fight the best fighters in the world. I am lucky that the best heavyweight fighters in the world right now are with M-1 Global and Affliction.”
In most MMA circles, Emelianenko is ranked as the world’s best heavyweight fighter, and perhaps the best pound-for-pound fighter in all of MMA. However, White doesn’t live in MMA circles, he presides in an Octagon, where he feels the best fighters compete. And if you haven’t fought there, then you haven’t fought anywhere.
“If the situation is right and there is someone really good in the UFC that will fight me, then I would be fine fighting [for] them,” Emelianenko said about the prospects of a future with the UFC.
But for now, he is focused on the current task at hand as he will be taking on former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski this Saturday at Affliction’s “Day of Reckoning” event. It will be the first in what he anticipates to be an active calendar year.
“God willing, it will be nice to fight three times in 2009 and have one more fight New Year’s Eve,” said Emelianenko.
If he is able to successfully defend his belt against Arlovski, he already has his mind set on his next two opponents.
“…Josh (Barnett) and I are friends,” said the champion. “But once again, the best should fight the best for [the good] of the sport of MMA. It would be okay.”
And of course, he still has the dream fight between him and UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture on his mind.
“I would not refuse the fight because I believe Randy and I are both ambassadors for the sport of MMA and we would help grow the sport very much with the fight,” added Emelianenko. “This was the main reason why I wanted to fight Randy, even if it meant to fight someone I admired.”