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Fedor: The UFC’s Terms “Are Not Acceptable”

Written by Tom Ngo
July 12th, 2009
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Fedor: “I Don’t Think You’ll See Me in the UFC” – Despite what UFC president Dana White says, WAMMA heavyweight champ Fedor Emelianenko doesn’t believe that his future lies inside the Octagon.The Russian explains, that although a mega-fight against Brock Lesnar sounds tempting, the UFC’s terms “are not acceptable.”

“At the present time, I don’t think so,” Emelianenko said through an interpreter on the most recent edition of HDNet’s Inside MMA. “I don’t think you’ll see me in the UFC, just because the terms, and the manner in which those terms are offered, are not acceptable today.”

What Fedor is most likely referring to is the UFC’s requirements for exclusivity and their unwillingness to co-promote events. In a recent interview, UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta confirmed his promotion’s stance.

“We offered the exact same contract that three hundred other guys have signed, including Brock Lesnar, Chuck Liddell, Anderson Silva, GSP, all the top stars,” Fertitta explained during last weekend’s Q & A session for Fighter’s Only Magazine. “Why is that contract not good enough for Fedor? What Fedor wants is this. He doesn’t want to be exclusive.

“So, it’s like saying, okay, Tom Brady: ‘I’m going to play for New England Patriots one Sunday, but you know what? After that game’s over, I want to be a free agent and go see where I can play for the rest of the season.’ Every weekend he’s going to skip around and play for whoever he wants. How does that make sense for us as a business or for the fans?”

Fedor’s resistance to exclusivity, coupled with the UFC’s insistence on it, will likely be the reason he never sets foot inside of an Octagon. Perhaps that’s the reason Affliction VP told 5thRound.com this week that he was at ease with the impending free agency of his company’s biggest draw.

“[Fedor’s representatives] always tell us what’s going on,” Atencio told us in an exclusive interview. “We’re partners and that’s what you have to do in a partnership. They’ve talked to the UFC in the past, we’ve talked to the UFC in the past. The UFC does not co-promote. The UFC doesn’t want to work with other people and that’s really what it comes down to. That’s why I am confident that I don’t see [Fedor leaving].”

However, if you ask theUFC’s brash president, it’s all but a done deal that Emelianenko will be fighting for him once his contract expires following his bout with Josh Barnett at “Affliction: Trilogy” on August 1st.

“This guy (Brock Lesnar) just won the heavyweight title, and we’ll end up getting that deal done,” Dana White said. “And then we’ll do Brock vs. Fedor, and it’ll be a huge fight.”

Tangled within all this red tape is the fact that Emelianenko’s manger, Vadim Finkelchtein, is the owner of M-1 Global, which would insist on co-promoting a Brock vs. Fedor show. Which is highly unlikely.

Although the potential heavyweight super-scrap has MMA fans around the globe drooling, and Fedor seemed even more enamored with the idea.

“That [fight with Lesnar] interests me a lot,” stated Emelianenko. “He’s a serious guy and a good fighter. I would definitely be interested in testing my skill.”

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