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Dana White: After Loss, We Have No Interest in Fedor Emelianenko

Fedor EmelianenkoLAS VEGAS -- For a time, Russian MMA heavyweight star Fedor Emelianenko was UFC President Dana White's obsession. Negotiations ensued, wild money figures were thrown about, and the flirtation ended short of consummation.

But the love story that never was will forever remain unrequited, it seems. White says that after Emelianenko lost to Fabricio Werdum last Saturday night in a Strikeforce show, any interest in him is gone for good.

"I'm not interested," White said after a UFC 116 press conference. "Listen, how many times have you seen us sign a guy when he just loses in another promotion, you know? Oh, the guy just lost in Strikeforce, let's sign him!"

Emelianenko hadn't lost in nearly a decade, last dropping a disputed loss via cut stoppage in Dec. 2000. Since then he'd gone through a long unbeaten stretch, defeating stars including Mirko Cro Cop, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Andrei Arlovski. The submission defeat was only his second pro defeat against 32 wins and one no contest.


White admitted that at one point in the middle of last decade, Emelianenko was worthy of the high praise he's received as possibly the best heavyweight on the planet, but said he hasn't had a legitimate stake to that claim in years.

"Back in the day, in 2005 and before that, he was beating some great guys who were in their prime and was nasty, but to prove yourself the best in the world, you have to fight the best consistently," he said.

Last year, during the course of wooing Emelianenko, White said that Emelianenko would debut in the UFC with a title shot, but now the pendulum has swung far in the opposite direction. Emelianenko is no longer on the UFC's radar screen. It should be noted that Emelianenko still has one fight left on his current Strikeforce deal.

The loss came at a perfect time for the UFC, which is promotion a heavyweight title matchup between current champ Brock Lesnar and interim champ Shane Carwin. Most now believe the winner has the right to be called the best heavyweight in the world.

"If we would've come to a deal with Fedor, yeah, we could've put on a big promotion, and we could've found out [how good he was]," white said. "People are going to say, 'Oh he got caught in a triangle. Anybody can.' Yeah, anybody can, but it would've been a lot better if he came over and lost to Shane Carwin, Brock Lesnar or Cain Velasquez than losing to Werdum."

"Now that he loses, now they want to say, maybe we'll come over, because he lost? I'm done playing the games," White said later, possibly slamming the door on Emelianenko for good.
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