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Fedor Emelianenko 'Very Sorry' He Isn't Fighting Brock Lesnar

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In comments designed to win back mixed martial arts enthusiasts who are angry that the biggest fight in the sport's history won't take place, Fedor Emelianenko apologized on Thursday that his negotiations with the UFC failed to result in a superfight with UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar.

On a conference call Thursday to formally announce his signing with UFC rival Strikeforce, I asked Fedor to respond to the fan backlash that has sprung up against him since hs spurned the UFC's offer of a contract that included a heavyweight title unification fight with Lesnar.

"I really feel very sorry that fight could not happen," Fedor said. "I feel really sorry that my fans won't be able to see the fight with Brock Lesnar in the near future. But I hope they will be able to see another fight with a great opponent."

Fedor's business partner, M-1 Global boss Vadim Finkelchtein, was less apologetic that the fight with Lesnar fell through and more strident in his insistence that Fedor will face a great opponent in Strikeforce. In fact, Finkelchtein
suggested that Brett Rogers is a better fighter than Lesnar, noting that Rogers is 10-0 while Lesnar is 4-1. What Finkelchtein did not mention is that Lesnar's four wins include three against high-level opponents, Heath Herring, Randy Couture and Frank Mir. Rogers has one win against a top-line opponent, Andrei Arlovski.

Finkelchtein also said Lesnar was a product of the UFC's hype machine, and he said that given time, M-1 could make a name for itself just as the UFC has made a name for Lesnar.

"One thing about Brock Lesnar, nobody knew him a year ago," Finkelchtein said. "So give us some time and M-1 Global and Strikeforce will be able to show to everybody what we are able to achieve together."

Those comments might lead some fans to turn their backlash away from Fedor and toward Vadim. But Fedor himself said that fans should know that he's the one calling the shots.

"I would like to say," Fedor said, "with all my fights, I make the decisions."

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