UFC President Dana White announced today at the UFC 133 pre-fight press conference that Fedor Emelianenko will not be re-signed by Strikeforce. White appeared to relish the release by adding “You guys thought he was the pound-for-pound best in the world, but I thought he was overrated for years.”
Fedor lost to Dan Henderson in Saturday’s Strikeforce main event for his third loss in a row following a nearly 10-year long winning streak. The exciting one-rounder also marked the first time the Russian fighter was knocked out.
Today’s announcement also further showed the weakening power of current Strikeforce president Scott Coker, who recently revealed his desire to re-sign the former PRIDE champion. Despite being released, Fedor will likely have his choice of suitors if he chooses to continue his career. With that said, it is possible that his next fight will be at an October Golden Glory event in Moscow.
White’s numerous disagreements with Fedor’s M-1 Global management over failed negotiations have been well documented over the years, making the personal jabs by White less thank surprising.
Fedor’s release follows the cuts of Strikeforce heavyweight champ Alistair Overeem and Golden Glory teammates Marloes Coenen, Valentijn Overeem, and John Olav Einemo. White said Thursday that contrasting business practices were to blame for the cuts.
“If you look back throughout history, we haven’t had any Golden Glory guys fight since Semmy Schilt. The reason is we have very different business practices,” White said. “The bottom line is the way they do business, you have to pay them, not the fighters. We don’t work that way. It’s not the way we do business. It’s not how it works in the U.S. You don’t pay the managers and the managers pay the fighters. You pay the fighters and the fighters pay the managers.
“The reality is we tried to work out new deals with these guys and they won’t do it.”
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