Written by Carmichael Dave
Thursday, 16 April 2009 14:06
For quite a while now, many fans worldwide have played a fantasy matchup in their head. ?Fedor vs (insert UFC fighter)?. Fedor Emelianenko, who some consider the best pound for pound fighter in the world, is the one fighter that has consistently evaded Dana White and the boys at Zuffa.
There has never been any question that White has not made serious attempts to sign the 29-1 Russian. What has always been in question are the specific hurdles, and two lingering ideas:
1. White is very stringent with his contracts, and refuses to bend them for anyone. 2. Emelianenko?s management are making unreasonable demands that consistently stall the process.
White is in Canada to promote UFC 97 this coming weekend. After a tumultuous couple of weeks for the UFC President, I thought it would be fun to talk about something that had nothing to do with unnamed sources and video blogs.
After seeing White?s comments in the Canadian press seemingly dismissing the Affliction champion, I wanted to try and delve a little deeper. I asked the UFC prez to participate in a little old-fashioned Fedor Q&A, and he obliged.
Carmichael Dave: You really need to stop with this Fedor stuff. Jeez?
Dana White: Stop what? He is far from the pound-for-pound best in the world!
Carmichael Dave: Dana, the dude (Emelianenko) has never lost (ed. note: other than a cut stoppage early in his career that was later avenged with a first round TKO)?.If you signed him tomorrow, you?d be swinging on those nuts?.come on!
Dana White: You have to consistently fight the best in the world in order to get my respect.
Carmichael Dave: He consistently beat 3 UFC Heavyweight Champion?s asses: Noguiera twice, Andrei Arlovski, and Tim Sylvia.
Dana White: Nog was a long time ago. Sylvia wasn?t even close to great, and Arlovski has no chin.
Carmichael Dave: The fans want this guy in the UFC more than anything. You?re tired of the ?Fedor is great? s**t. Why not just bend and make it f**kin happen?
Dana White: Oh yeah, its only up to me if he?s in the UFC? All you dopes need to realize he?s under contract with someone else. Its up to HIM to do a deal, not me. I have been trying, Lorenzo (Fertitta, co-owner of the UFC) has been trying. We?ve been trying ever since we bought Pride.
Carmichael Dave: Yeah, but you refuse to waive that crazy Zuffa contract s**t. No sambo, the champions clause (a clause in which a fighter?s contract automatically renews for one more fight as long as they hold a UFC belt) etc. True or False? Look, he has one more fight with Affliction I believe. Why not do a one fight deal at least?
Dana White: That?s right. When you?re fighting in the Big Show, there can be no other bulls**t. He will get paid an assload of money to fight, and he needs to be available. We can?t be sitting around waiting for him to fight in some Sambo show.
Carmichael Dave: Neither of you ?need? each other, you?re both doing just fine. But you always say you want what the fans want. Why not at least a one fight deal?.Fedor vs the current UFC Heavyweight champion?
Dana White: Because that would be stupid business! Is that what the fans want? If everyone thinks he?s ?so great?, why would they only want to see him fight once?
Carmichael Dave: Because once is better than not at all, bottom line. Affliction says they would release Fedor from his contract immediately for a one fight deal with the UFC champion. You get Fedor vs your champion for one massive superfight under the UFC banner, biggest fight in MMA history. Its not perfect, but everyone wins. Right?
Dana White: Ha! Affliction is full of s**t! They don?t control Fedor?.the russians are sick of Affliction.
Carmichael Dave: Well, that?s what they said?.today (ed. note: An Affliction representative was contacted to confirm during this interview) If Affliction and M1 came to the table with a one fight offer, would you take it?
Dana White: No. That?s stupid business. That?s why you and your crew need to stick to radio and leave the fight business to me.
Carmichael Dave: (laughs) Me and my crew? You mean my one year old and 6 month old? Let me guess why its stupid business. You guys make money and give the fans what they want based on one fight?.but when he beats that ass, and leaves the UFC?.the entire Heavyweight division forever has the dreaded ?asterisk? on it. It in essence gives Fedor all the bargaining chips.
Dana White: Oh Jesus! You live in fanboy internet land! If he beats ass and has all the bargaining chips?? What the f**k does that mean? He signs a deal he?s happy withthen fights and cleans out the division. He PROVES he?s the best. Pretty clear cut and simple. You guys try and make it out to be some crazy conspiracy or some bulls**t. I have done deals with thousands of guys that are way more famous then him.
We bring the fans all the fights they want to see already. You don?t do a one fight deal with people when you?re in the fight business. I don?t do it with people you have never heard of, so why would I do it with him? And if he?s so great, he needs to fight more than once to prove it.
Carmichael Dave: He?s not a nobody, first off. He?s fought more than once: 30 times to be exact. And I stand corrected, he?s beaten 4 UFC champs. I forgot about Mark Coleman.
There?s no doubt. No one can deny the job you and Zuffa have done in getting the best fighters and fights to the UFC. Shogun, Wanderlei, and Crocop just to name a few. But this seems like the one achilles heel for you?.
Dana White: (laughs) All you geeks get so f**kin goofy about this s**t, because he?s not in the UFC. The day I get him nobody will give a s**t. And its not an achilles heel for us at all. My attitude is: If he doesn?t give a f**k, than neither do I. End of story.
Carmichael Dave: Dana, how can he get a deal he?s happy with when the only thing it seems you?ll negotiate on is money, not the other terms we previously spoke of. They?re obviously important to him.
Dana White: Really? What about their terms? Build an arena in Russia, the entire f**kin Red Devil fight team gets in the UFC, etc, etc? It takes two to make a deal, and I have done plenty of deals. Wake up, knuckleheads.
Like I said, I have done deals with every great fighter on earth?and guys a billion times more famous than him.
Carmichael Dave: I think that?s a very questionable statement that there is any fighter ?a billion times more famous?, but let?s move on. In the end, who gives a f**k about fame? Shouldn?t it be ?best fighter vs best fighter??
Dana White: (laughs) Now you?re just saying stupid s**t. These comebacks are at the ?UFC sucks? level.
Yeah, we are ducking him! We are afraid of Fedor!! We hope we NEVER come to a deal with him. We are afraid he will destroy everyone?.even in all our OTHER weight classes!! We are so f**kin scared! LEAVE US ALONE!!!
Carmichael Dave: Are you willing to sit down with them again? If you both are so far apart, will you even concede ONE thing to get a deal done?
Dana White: I haven?t heard a word from them. But I see the reports saying they want to sit down again this summer. I?m ready.
Carmichael Dave: I know of course, when speaking about negotiations, you cannot be specific. Is there any chance that some things that were perhaps off the table the last time you guys spoke?.would you consider putting them back ON the negotiating table?
Dana White: Nope.
Carmichael Dave: And you aren?t concerned that it will come off publicly that Fedor and his management are being reasonable, and big bad Dana White is being a dictator as usual?
Dana White: Nope
Carmichael Dave: Ok. When/if those talks happen, can I sit at the other side of the table?if I bring the chips and salsa?
Dana White: (laughs) Yes.
Carmichael Dave: I?m dead f**kin serious. One media representative there to tell the real f**kin story. No ?he said, she said? bulls**t. I?ll bring Pinkberry for you, and vodka for them.
Dana White: (laughs). I?m serious too. Its on.