The desire to see Russian heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko fight in the UFC isn’t nearly as strong as it used to be after his 10 year unbeaten run came to an abrupt end with three defeats in a row, but from time to time the story still rears it’s head again.
Recently Fedor himself hinted that he was interested in fighting for the UFC, claiming that the biggest fights for him were in the U.S, but despite the fact he salvaged some pride in the latter part of 2011 with back-to-back wins over Jeff Monson and Satoshi Ishii, UFC president Dana White has made it clear he still has no interest in seeing ‘The last Emperor’ fight in the Octagon.
When asked by MMAJunkie in a new interview whether Fedor is on his radar White replies, “Not even a little bit.”
As far as he’s concerned the Russian missed the boat to fight in the UFC when he and his representatives at M-1 Global walked away from an offer the promotion made him in favor of signing a deal with Strikeforce.
““That was a guy who was made an incredible offer, and they laughed at it,” White claims. “They aren’t laughing now.”
So the door seems permanently shut for the 35 year-old, but Fedor’s management M-1 Global still believe that White could yet change his mind.
“You need to know Dana,” M-1’s Vadim Finkelstein says in a new interview with Gazeta.ru. “If he says he has no interest in signing Fedor, then in fact, he really wants to. He says one thing, and doing another. How can you not want a fighter who can bring millions? Any fight with Fedor could break all the rating records in the UFC.”
To me it sounds like he’s saying that more in hope than in expectation however, but luckily there are other offers on the table for the former PRIDE star.
According to Finkelstein there’s interest in having Fedor fight in Brazil where the sport is currently experiencing a huge surge of popularity, while he also indicates that Asian based promotion ONE FC and fledgling Indian start-up Super Fight League are also courting the legendary fighter.
Nothing’s been decided yet though, and in the meantime Fedor has been hanging out in Japan where he took part in a sumo-wrestling match as part of a light-hearted Japanese TV show which you can check out below.