August 03, 2009
The line has been drawn in the sand. Pick your side. Was UFC being the bully on the block, as so many MMA fans often think it is, or were M-1 and Fedor Emelianenko being completely ridiculous?
UFC claims it offered Fedor (doll pictured with abs!) everything he wanted except co-promotion. Ed Graney, the columnist from the Las Vegas Review-Journal, says it's all about Fedor and his legacy:
There is just one sticking point that could decide if Emelianenko possibly goes down as the best MMA fighter ever or always is known as one who wouldn't challenge the best opponents. Or as the guy who tested his skill against the world's elite or who fought a bunch of nobodies for a bunch of money. This isn't brain surgery. Do you want to go one-on-one with LeBron James or Kevin James? Do you want to want to bat against Tim Lincecum or Tim Burton?
Dana White said co-promotion was a ridiculous request from a company that had only put on a few successful fight cards:
"It's basically them coming in and saying, 'Hey, we've got this guy, and some people might say he's the best heavyweight in the world. 'So for that, we want half of your business.' Yeah, OK. That (expletive) probably works in Russia -- not here. Let's be honest: These guys are going to come in and co-promote? How the hell are they going to co-promote anything? We've built this entire frigging industry."
Graney goes on to say Fedor was desired but not needed. Is that true, or is UFC heavyweight king Brock Lesnar, a champ in name only, until he fights Fedor? We'll probably never know, now that Fedor is with Strikeforce and fights against the likes of Alistair Overeem, Brett Rogers, Fabricio Werdum and Bobby Lashley are the best we're going to get.
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