While appearing as a guest on yesterday’s edition of Jim Rome is Burning, UFC president Dana White once again answered questions regarding the status of heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko.
“Everybody that thinks this guys is as good as he is, I want to find out too. I’m as big or bigger a fight fan than anyone that watches mixed martial arts … Somebody believes that this guy is possibly the best, which I personally do not think that he is one of the pound-for-pound best in the world.
“Yes, he’s one of the top heavyweights in the world. I want to find out how good he really is, but it takes two to make a deal. Not just one guy. Not, ‘Dana, you gotta get this done.’
“Trust me, this has become an obsession. I have done everything in my power to try and make this deal happen.”
Unlike last week in Abu Dhabi where White originally confirmed his “obsession” with bringing Fedor into his Octagon, and parlayed that by claiming to have spoken with Team Fedor “more recently than [we] would think,” the promoter simply tried to recruit the Russian’s services by questioning his 31-1 resume.
Other than that, it was the same ‘ol spiel. Domestically, Emelianenko remains under contract with Strikeforce, although for the past two months both sides have been trying to “tweek” the original three-fight contract they had agreed upon less than a year ago.
If for some reason Emelieanko decides to bounce from Strikeforce, the UFC may still not be his landing spot. M-1 Global, the Russian-based company that represents Fedor and is owned by his manager, Vadim Finkelchtein, refuses to allow their client to fight on any show they can’t co-promote on.
That is the main barrier that has kept Fedor from joining the UFC and will continue to be a roadblock unless M-1 caves. While both sides have made it perfectly clear they will not budge when it comes to co-promotion, the UFC needs this deal a lot less than Team Fedor, despite White’s newly found “obsession.”