The rumors were true. After suffering his third loss in a row against Dan Henderson on Saturday night, MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko has been released from the Strikeforce promotion.
Dana White confirmed the news today at the UFC 133 pre-fight press conference.
“He’s being cut, yeah,” White confirmed to the assembled media, adding, “Why? Do you think we should keep him?”
For White ‘The Last Emperor’s’ recent slump in form against Fabricio Werdum, Antonio Silva and then Henderson vindicated his hard-line stance which meant that the revered heavyweight never fought in the UFC’s octagon.
“You guys thought he was the pound-for-pound best in the world, but I thought he was overrated for years,” is White’s frank assessment of the situation.
Today’s news is not surprising. Much of Fedor’s mystique, built up over a 10 year unbeaten stretch, has now evaporated during his Strikeforce run, and meanwhile M-1 Global’s influence over his affairs has caused nothing but problems for the promotion.
Things were only complicated further when Zuffa bought over Strikeforce since they were already at loggerheads with M-1 Global, meaning that even if Fedor had started to win again it’s highly doubtful whether the two parties would have been able to come to terms on a new deal to keep him in the promotion beyond his current contract.
Still, today’s news is another blow for Strikeforce given that Fedor was still the biggest draw on their roster, and with other like Alistair Overeem and Marloes Coenen having been cut recently, and Nick Diaz moving across to the UFC, it really does feel now as if the second biggest promotion in the sport is beginning to resemble a sinking ship.