UFC president Dana White claims that Strikeforce fighter Fedor Emelianenko does not belong at the top of the pound-for-pound ranking of the world's best fighters. On the Versus show "The Daily Line," White makes the case. At around the 4:30 mark, he starts in on "The Russian."
For him to even be in the top heavyweights is insane. This guy hasn't fought anybody since the late 90s. In the UFC, these guys consistently fight the best three times a year. Most of these mixed martial arts websites don't know what pound-for-pound really means ... he hasn't fought Brock Lesnar. He hasn't fought Shane Carwin. He hasn't even fought Frank Mir.
White lists his top-five pound for pound fighters as Anderson Silva, Georges St. Pierre, B.J. Penn, Frankie Edgar and Jose Aldo. White's taken criticism for this declaration. An emailer told us, "Dana doesn't even know enough of Fedor's history to rank him."
You want to know why White is so emphatic in questioning Fedor's abilities? It's his job to do that.
The man is the president of the UFC. He has an obligation to the company he helped build, the company that he is the face of, to sell it as the best in the world. White wants you to spend your money on pay-per-views, video games, the merchandise and event tickets. If he admits that the best fighter in the world is in another promotion, he is failing the UFC.
His facts are off. Emelianenko didn't even start fighting until May of 2000. He's beaten UFC Hall-of-Famer Mark Coleman, former UFC champions Andrei Arlovski and Tim Sylvia, and current UFC fighter Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. To call them nobodies calls into question some of White's own fighters, but that's not the point.
He's not a member of the media, and it isn't his job to put forth a fair pound-for-pound list. It's his job to make you think that the UFC is better than every other promotion, and deserving of your cash.
Sure, that's not how every fight promoter does business. At the same time, no other promotion is as successful as the UFC.