The never ending saga between UFC president Dana White and his white whale continues.
The reasons as to why former PRIDE heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko never graced the Octagon depend on who you ask, but both he and White have spent years blaming the other for it never happening. Now, Emelianenko says his legacy isn't worse off by never having fought in the UFC because he faced a higher level of talent in Japan.
"Well, the UFC didn't want me to fight there, so what could I do? We were unable to make a deal," Emelianenko told Michael Schiavello. "They offered unacceptable conditions. Actually, when I fought in PRIDE, we had the best fighters in the world. Back then the UFC had a very serious and big crisis. They were going through some hard times being able to get top fighters. All the best fighters were in PRIDE."
Emelianenko concedes that the UFC has become the premiere MMA organization, but isn't impressed by its bloated roster.
"Later on, when PRIDE ceased to exist, the UFC didn't immediately pick up speed. Currently, the UFC is a 'super organization,' in the world, probably the best. There are several top fighters in every weight category and in general it is hard to see the whole picture, I'd say. So there are some fighters whom it is interesting to watch, but the rest of them, well, it's not interesting for me."
Describing his quest to sign Emelianenko as 'an obsession,' White claimed to have offered the Russian an astronomical contract exceeding anything the company had ever done. According to White, Emelianenko's demands included the construction of a stadium in Russia, as well as other 'stupid s--t, stuff that no normal f--king human being would do.'
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