In just two short weeks, undefeated top ranked lightweight Khabib Nurmagomedov and streaking lightweight contender Tony Ferguson will meet in the Octagon for a highly anticipated interim lightweight title fight, with the winner then moving on to fight Conor McGregor when the lightweight champion returns from the hiatus due to the upcoming birth of his firstborn son.
Ahead of his Bellator 170 scrap tonight, Fedor Emelianenko spoke to MMAFighting to discuss why he feels that the UFC may not necessarily want Nurmagomedov as the UFC champion.
“I think Khabib is a very good fighter and he has everything going for him to become champion with the UFC,” said Emelianenko in a recent interview with MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani. “Another thing to continue is whether the UFC wants that or not.”
“I don’t know,” added Emelianenko. “That’s just the politics in the UFC. For me, a lot of UFC actions are still a mystery.”
This comes on the heels of Emelianenko revealing why he signed with Bellator MMA, stating:
“We had made great relations with Scott Coker,” Emelianenko said through an interpreter. “I received a very good offer from Bellator. In addition, Bellator invited my entire team. So all of the guys will be performing as well.”
“Depending on the point of view, a lot of times you can be very close and sort of go around and around and never get to it,” he said. “There were some things that were not satisfactory for UFC and there were some things that were not satisfactory for me and we never came to an agreement.”
“One of the main reasons was the ability for my team to perform, for my guys to perform,” Emelianenko said. “The other reasons were, we were not exactly on the same terms [with the UFC] as far as the financial conditions and some other things, some other smaller things as well.”
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 2/18/2017.