UFC president Dana White opened up Friday’s highly anticipated conference call by talking about the one that got away … again. The brash promoter states the UFC offered Team Fedor Emelianenko everything except co-promoting MMA events, the prize that M-1 Global covets the most.
“We did everything possible for this deal,” White said. “We didn’t hold back. It’s crazy to turn down a deal like this. We went above and beyond. We have been able to sign the best fighters in the world over the last 10 years, so to not be able to sign this guy [wasn’t our fault].”
It’s always the same old story with these two sides; the UFC scoffs at the notion of co-promoting mixed martial arts shows while M-1 Global insists on it.
“How are they going to help us co-promote?” White said. “They’re going to help us? That [expletive] might work in Russia (but) not here. How do you deal with something like this?”
White is right. Just because Emelianenko is the world’s best fighter, regardless of what Dana says of MMA’s hottest free agent, it doesn’t mean that M-1 automatically gets the right to dip into the UFC’s profits.
The UFC doens’t need M-1 to co-promote because the UFC is, and forever will be, synonymous with the sport of mixed martial arts.
Regardless of the drama and red tape involved in inking Emelianenko, White is still hell-bent on obtaining the Russian’s services.
“I’m ready to make a deal,” White emphatically stated. “If they want to make a deal, they can call me right now. We want this, I want this so badly you guys don’t even know. Lorenzo [Fertitta, UFC co-owner] and I were together all week talking with them.
“I was so confident we were going to get this done. I went in (to the negotiations) with the mindset that we were going to get this done. I did everything I could to try and sign Fedor. They just don’t want to do a deal.”
It was reported the UFC offered Emelianenko a six-fight/$30Mill contract, which also included an immediate title shot against champ Brock Lesnar, a percentage of pay-per-view buys and the freedom to continue to compete in his Sambo matches.
However, M-1 issued a statement earlier today squashing those rumors, stating they were offered much less from the planet’s biggest MMA organization.
“It is unfortunate that so much incorrect information has been leaked to the public,” Finkelchtein stated. “It is M-1’s preference not to negotiate in public, and we are unsure why people claim that Fedor and M-1 turned down a six-fight, $30 million contract to fight in the UFC when no such offer was ever made.
“All we are asking is that there is give-and-take in the negotiations and that they are not one-sided.”