UFC President Dana White was in Abu Dhabi yesterday on business when news broke that top-heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko would pass on the UFC’s lucrative offer by accepting a contract with Strikeforce that offered co-promotion.
Here’s White’s response to the signing from Cagewriter:
“I’m in Abu Dhabi right now and my reaction is Fedor is a [expletive] joke. [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].
“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.”
Seeing Fedor refuse to fight the world’s best heavyweights is a huge disappointment, and while Strikeforce has some good heavyweights (Overeem, Werdum, Rogers), its division is second-tier compared to the UFC’s roster. The UFC offered Fedor the best contract possible in an attempt to lure him to the Octagon, but ultimately co-promotion was more import to Emelianenko and his M-1 Global management team than competition, and as fans we’re left wondering whether he’s truly the top heavyweight without seeing him in head-to-head matchups with the world’s best.