Fan boy would call UFC Dana White the ultimate bandwagon jumper, while lonely guys might consider him the ultimate gold digger. Either way you want to look at it, White wants no part of Fedor Emelianenko following his upset loss to Fabricio Werdum.
“I’m not interested,” White told MMAFighthing.com following Thursday’s UFC 116 press conference. “Listen, how many times have you seen us sign a guy when he just loses in another promotion, you know? Oh, the guy just lost in Strikeforce, let’s sign him!”
Less than four months ago, White revealed his man-crush for the Russian and was school-girl silly over his “obsession” with bringing Fedor into his Octagon. However, with a new flavor of the month set to emerge this Saturday when either Brock Lesnar or Shane Carwin become the UFC’s undisputed king, White has already allowed the winds of change to sway his vote.
“Back in the day, in 2005 and before that, he was beating some great guys who were in their prime and was nasty, but to prove yourself the best in the world, you have to fight the best consistently,” White added. “Now that he loses, now they want to say, maybe we’ll come over, because he lost? I’m done playing the games.”
White’s been in this business far too long to ignore the upset factor in MMA. However, he’s just saying Emelianenko’s abrupt fall from grace could have been better accepted if it came inside an Octagon against the planet’s top dogs.
“If we would’ve come to a deal with Fedor, yeah we could’ve put on a big promotion, and we could’ve found out [how good he was],” White said. “People are going to say, ‘Oh he got caught in a triangle. Anybody can.’ Yeah, anybody can, but it would’ve been a lot better if he came over and lost to Shane Carwin, Brock Lesnar or Cain Velasquez than losing to Werdum.”
This is likely a ploy by White & Co. to increase their bargaining power when the Russian’s services become available again. With only one bout remaining on his Strikeforce deal, expect for Emelianenko to recapture his mojo and ignite the biggest free agency frenzy this side of LBJ.