Dana White Will “Never Say Never” When it Comes to Fedor Emelianenko

Written by Tom Ngo
October 18th, 2010

Strikeforce Heavyweights Fedor Emelianenko and Fabricio Werdum

In elementary school, there was this one girl that I had the hugest crush on. When I finally mustered up the cajones to see if I could teeter her totter, Sally promptly turned me and my studly ways down.

From that moment on, I dogged that 2nd grader all the livelong day. That was unless she gave me the slightest little inkling that she might allow me to play in her sandbox. Then I was hers all over again.

If my times at Ralph Waldo Emerson Elementary taught me anything, it’s that history always repeats itself. Here we are 23 years later and it dawns on me; how I used to treat that little hottie is exactly what UFC president Dana White is doing with Fedor Emelianenko.

After getting denied for the umpteenth time in favor of a much smaller promotion, White proceeded to profess his “obsession” with bringing the Russian – who was/is still under contract with rival Strikeforce – into his Octagon. However, Fabricio Werdum served up his upset special this past June and White’s fixation evaporated like a fart in the wind.

The brash promoter quickly hopped off the Emelianenko Express and claimed to be “no longer interested.” Although he said he would never allow that “fake, phony and farce” into the UFC, it appears White has once again had a change of heart.

“A lot of people were saying, ‘You must have been happy when Fedor (lost).’ To be honest with you, I’m as much of a fight fan as all you guys are,” White said during this weekend’s UFC 120 fan Q&A. “You hear me talk about Fedor. I flew to crazy places, made him a very respectable offer to come in and fight. I would have loved to have done him and Brock Lesnar or whoever.

“I tried to make that fight happen, and they know it, whether they say it or not. They know what I did, they know where I went, they know what I offered and they still didn’t take the fight. It takes two to make a deal.”

What exactly did you offer up as bait that prevented the Russians from biting?

“I told them, ‘You’re one punch away from being worth zero or half of what you’re worth,'” White recalled. “I bet they wish they took it now. The other thing with Fedor is, I never say never.”

Here we go again…

Emelianenko has one fight remaining on his current Strikeforce contract. M-1 Global, his longtime management company, has been trying to iron out an extension for the last several months to no avail. All sides appear to have agreed that a contract needs to be in place before he takes the cage again, so this could once again be White’s attempt to toy with his stateside counterparts during a sensitive period.

Although, just like I painfully learned from not-so-sweet Sally, even if Fedor eventually becomes available it doesn’t necessarily mean a co-promotion can be worked out.

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