Those first five words aren't mine.
They are the proud property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship's president, Dana White. The same man who apparently gave Brock Lesnar a tongue-lashing after the new undisputed Heavyweight Champion's post-title fight victory display.
One that included double-gunning the Las Vegas audience after pummeling Frank Mir into submission.
Well, monsignor White didn't use two of 'em, but he certainly just howitzered the UFC fanbase and his fight stable, as well as the biggest ticket left in the global heavyweight division, Fedor Emelianenoko.
"Fedor is a f*cking joke."
You got that scrappers, men who fight for their pride? Either you mix it up in Dana's organization for Dana's money and do it Dana's way, or you're a "f*cking joke."
It doesn't matter if you're the baddest man on the planet, a real mixed martial artist as opposed to a physical freak still learning the sport's intricacies. It doesn't matter if you've beaten the best your sport has to offer.
Either step-and-fetch or the Zuffa mafia don will deliver a national hit in 10-inch type.
That's a dangerous message to put out there when you make your living surrounded by and trying to control caged savagery—both for what it says about White and what it says about the UFC.
It says no matter how noble your exploits in the Octagon or outside of it, you will be judged—part and parcel—on how you score on Dana White's subjective system. Based on the recent demonstration of Dana Judgment, that's probably not the path you want to lead a cast of light thinkers.
No disrespect to the professional mixed martial arts community, but—let's face it—you boast some members whose next compound thought would be their first.
Giving them a Dana White template and telling them to have at it could be/would be catastrophic.
As for UFC fans, like myself? Devotees who were salivating at a possible clash of titans—the new school versus the old school? Rippling muscle and obvious athleticism versus an intimidating aura of invincibility cloaked in a softish, unremarkable package?
The brashness of the 21st century against the annihilating calm of a more stoic era?
Say adieu to that ever happening. At least as long as Dana White is the face of the franchise.
Why, in the name of blatant antagonism and disrespect, would the Last Emperor EVER sign the UFC dotted line now? After having his name thoroughly dragged through the mud by a man intimately familiar with its dirtiest spots?
So Fedor could fatten the bank accounts of White and his puppet masters? So he could risk his royal derriere and substantial reputation all for the eventual betterment of company whose chief exec called you a "f*cking joke" in the national press?
Fedor Emelianenko is a warrior in the traditional sense.
A man who fights in sambo tournaments, not for the personal glory of triumphant individual combat, but because it is a national sport. The Russian Experiment sees it as a chance to push Mother Russia to higher exaltation, not himself.
So he goes. And he wins.
Because Fedor Emelianenko is a grade-A ass-kicker, but he's also a man deep in integrity and shallow in compromise.
When you think of him that way, his absence from the UFC makes perfect sense.