Sounds like Dana White is trying to cozy up to The Last Emperor.
It is well known that Fedor Emelianenko and the UFC have had a pretty long running adversarial relationship. This past weekend, Emelianenko headlined EFN 50 which was streamed live on fight pass. It was arguable the worst Emelianenko has ever looked in his career, barely scraping out a win over UFC light heavyweight cast off Fabio Maldonado in a fight where everyone but two of the judges saw a win for Maldonado. In the past, UFC president Dana White may have taken this opportunity to cast aspersions on Emelianenko but instead, yesterday he praised the Russian heavyweight's toughness on the inaugural episode of the UFC Unfiltered podcast with Matt Serra and Jim Norton (transcript by MMA Junkie).
"They were going to let him die before they stopped that fight, you know that? But a testament to how tough and durable and mentally strong Fedor is, man. He was out. He was out. Literally, when he got back up ... when a guy is on crazy legs the way that he was on crazy legs, and it's not like he was on crazy legs and able to avoid punches after that. He continued to get hit with bombs by Maldonado and he made it through it.
"But I'll tell you this: Those refs were willing to let him die before they stopped that fight, No. 1. And No. 2, Fedor's got a chin and he's a tough guy."
This is a pretty stark contrast from when Dana White famously tweeted out a smiley face after Emelianenko suffered his first loss in a decade at the hands (and legs) of Fabricio Werdum. White's more amiable attitude towards Emelianenko may have to do with the fact that just last week Fedor said he is closer than ever to signing with the UFC.
White wasn't only impressed by Fedor's toughness on Friday, he was also impressed by his ability to draw eyeballs. White says that despite Fedor's age and years off from fighting, his fight on Friday did good numbers for Fight Pass..
"We'll see. We've been negotiating for many many many years. I'll tell you this, Fight Pass did very well with that fight. People do still want to watch Fedor."
And that may well be the determining factor. In the aftermath of the Maldonado fight, many speculated that Fedor's performance may have irreparably hurt his chances of signing with the UFC but that has never stopped them before. CM Punk has no combat sports background and he is allegedly going to fight for the promotion sometime this year. At the end of the day, the ability to draw viewers is the most important fighter skill to Zuffa and for all his other deterioration, Fedor still has that. Maybe we really will see him in the Octagon.
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My apologies but nothing for y'all today.
The win that started RDA's title run. It's remarkable how much better he has looked since even this fight.
Forrest discussing the rankings shakeups after the past weekend.
This is great. "It is a tale of 2 individuals who always want to be touching." Sounds like DC and JBJ alright.
Genki Sudo has moved on to crushing it on the piano.
Apropos of nothing here is a highlight of Jon Jones set to Angry Johnny which was such a dope walk out song. I would pay good money for him to return to using it. Just a perfect pairing of fighter and music.
All the major points.
Sam Caplan interview.
Hendo is great.
I'm so excited for this rematch.
DC loves teams that win.
Obviously this is a friendly exchange. But DC beats Stipe.
This guy......hahaha https://t.co/1sy2ttfSLQ— Stipe Miocic (@stipemiocicufc) June 20, 2016
It didn't go well for us DL.
Perhaps y'all will be interested.
This probably isn't interesting to anyone but me, but I counted the times Letourneau stopped to adjust her top.pic.twitter.com/L9F3SzO47C— Suzanne Davis (@SoozieCuzie) June 20, 2016
That seems difficult.
Messing around pic.twitter.com/YLbWMoZE1b— Sage Northcutt (@sagenorthcutt) June 21, 2016
Rihanna was hanging with LeBron win the Cavs won the title. Now McGregor. Conor done well for himself.
It's real hard to talk shit to a guy when he can just post this picture over and over again.
Dos Anjos, now you try to make all my wins nothing saying that my last opponent was not good enough. But don't forget, your name is in my list like beaten fighter . I'm not interested in you! But you have something that I'm going for and I will not stop InshaALLAH! If you would be a man you ever have said that you want to take my revenge ,but I see that you don't want to feel that power again. Теперь Досаньос ты всеми путями пытаешься уменьшить мои заслуги, говоря о том что я не выграл стоящего соперника в крайнем бою, но не забывай в моей списке твоё имя значится как битый мною боец, ты мне тем более не интересен, но у тебя есть кое что, за которым я иду, и я не остановлюсь ИншаАллагь, и если ты был бы мужчиной ты хоть раз сказал бы, что хочешь взять у меня реванш, но как я понял ты не хочешь почувствовать тот мой напор ещё раз. @ufc #ufc #lightweight #champion
Cruz only taking a couple weeks off after the Faber win.
Can't wait to have this guy back.
TODAY IN MMA HISTORY
2002: Joe Rogan made his debut as a UFC color commentator at UFC 37.5. In the main event, Chuck Liddell beat Vitor Belfort via unanimous decision. This event also featured Robbie Lawler knocking out Steve Berger which was the first fight to ever be shown on US cable television when it was included on Fox Sports Net's The Best Damn Sports Show Period.
2007: Strikeforce and Elite XC worked together to co-promote Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Baroni. In the main event, Shamrock submitted Baroni with a rear-naked choke to become the first person to win a title in the the UFC, Strikeforce, and the WEC. The co-main event featured Murilo Rua winning the Elite XC middleweight championship by knocking out Joey Villasenor in the second round.
2012: Gray Maynard won a split decision over Clay Guida in the main event of UFC on Fox 4. This event also featured the last professional MMA bout of Spencer Fisher's career, a losing effort in the rubber match between himself and Sam Stout.
I'm not saying we were responsible Jojo Calderwood a well deserved bonus and a retooling of her contract, but I'm not not saying it either. You kids and your social media backlash supporting Jojo played at least some role in getting Dana White to recognize and address the issue. The M-Rmy is too strong. But seriously, glad Calderwood is getting taken care of and I hope more fighters take a lesson from her. Closed mouth don't get fed.
Until tomorrow, be easy.
If you find something you'd like to see in the Morning Report, just hit me up on Twitter @JedKMeshew and let me know about it.