Whenever an employee is unable to accomplish a task, it’s then the supervisor’s responsibility to ensure the job gets done. While UFC president Dana White has closed countless deals in order to keep the MMA train barreling ahead, there is a set of negotiations he will steer completely clear of.
Although Strikeforce has dibs on the proposed blockbuster bout between Fedor Emelianenko and Dan Henderson, UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta is now sitting at the head of the negotiating table to ensure an agreement is reached on Octagon time – not on Team Fedor time.
“Lorenzo’s working on it,” White told MMAJunkie Thursday. “Me getting anywhere near that thing? You’ll never see that fight.”
White’s longstanding beef with Emelianenko’s M-1 Global management has been well documented. Although he recruited the Russian on several occasions, even going as far as professing his “obsession” for him, White was never able to seal the deal.
Needless to say, he hasn’t forgotten about it. Prior to Zuffa, LLC’s purchase of Strikeforce, White took every opportunity he could to diss Emelianenko and his band of “bafoons.” Although he’s been quiet about Team Fedor since the acquisition, it appears the beef is still sizzling.
“I’ve been out of it,” White said. “Me involved in that situation would only make matters worse. The great thing about this company and the way we do things – there’s a lot of people I butt heads with. Lorenzo can handle it, and then I can handle stuff. [UFC matchmaker] Joe Silva handles stuff.
“We don’t have to be friends for you to fight in the UFC, and we don’t have to get along. It’s business.”
Here are the major issues Fertitta will now attempt to iron out:
Weight: According to reports, Hendo is pushing for a heavyweight bout, while Emelianenko is interested in a catchweight contest around 220 pounds.
Pay-Per-View vs. Showtime: M-1 Global has co-promotional rights with Strikeforce when it comes to which shows Fedor competes in.
Money: Both fighters would obviously want a percentage of PPV buys, if they decide to go that route.
Date and Venue: July has been circling the rumor mill, but no arena has emerged as the front-runner to host the gig. Will Strikeforce finally make their debut under Las Vegas’ bright lights?