August 03, 2009
News of the Fedor Emelianenko signing filtered out around 12:20 p.m. ET. It's safe to say UFC president Dana White heard about it almost immediately even though he's dealing with business Abu Dhabi. Nice job by Strikeforce to prevent any leaks and spring this on us with zero warning. It's a great signing by Strikeforce. White worked hard and with a very open attitude on signing the world's No. 1 heavyweight but Scott Coker beat him to the punch:
"I'm in Abu Dhabi right now and my reaction is Fedor is a [expletive] joke," White told Cagewriter saying he was unavailable for Monday interview on ESPNRadio1100 at 2:40 p.m. ET. "[He] turns down a huge deal and the opportunity to face the best in the world to fight nobodies, for no money. Fedor is a [expletive]."
UPDATE: White followed up with a text at 5:32 p.m. ET:
"I feel sorry for the real fans! I wanted to make the deal but it takes two and it is VERY obvious Fedor doesn't want to fight the best and doesn't give a [expletive] about the fans."
Turnabout is fair play. Coker left the country to visit Italy two weeks ago and the UFC swooped in to close the Affliction deal and get control of 20-plus contracts. White leaves for the weekend to Abu Dhabi and Fedor is stolen from under his nose. White reportedly offered Fedor a six fight-$30 million deal. One has to wonder if White will continue to play nice with Coker and Strikeforce.
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