Fedor Emelianenko is widely considered to be one of the greatest fighters of all time, and one of the few men the UFC was never able to sign.
There has been much talk and speculation since ‘The Last Emperor’s’ retirement as to why he and the UFC were never able to reach an agreement, however, Emelianenko is now breaking his silence on the matter!
He spoke to MMAFighting:
“We did meet on the island (The USA). It was very short. It was unclear why he (Dana) came. Of course, over the conversation one thing was promised, but when the paperwork was received it was something else. There was a very extensive dialogue between me and Dana, as well as Dana’s lawyers, but it didn’t go anywhere. In other words, Dana basically said, sooner or later you’re going to end up fighting here anyway. You’re still going to say yes to this contract I’m giving you.”
“I got the invite [to fight Lesnar] only after I was retired. Everything has it’s time and place, and it wasn’t the right time for it. This is how God willed it, so it happened. I also believe it could have happened earlier had the UFC — primarily Dana — reached out and actually started a proper dialogue where both parties met halfway. Not just, ‘these are my rules, either take it or leave it.'”
“Throughout my entire career, I’ve heard and read on the Internet a lot of negativity coming from Dana. Someone who says a lot of negative things about you, and then turns around and invites you to join him, how do you react to that? And it’s not even about money. It’s all about mutual respect, meeting each other halfway. Not just one saying one thing to the other.”