Top-ranked heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko appears unlikely to end his UFC holdout anytime soon, putting an anticipated superfight against the promotion’s title-holder Brock Lesnar on hold indefinitely.
UFC President Dana White was confident at Saturday’s post-UFC 100 press conference that he’d soon sign Emelianenko away from Affliction following his August 1 matchup against Josh Barnett.
“This whole Fedor thing has been going on and on and on. I keep saying this and that about him and he keeps waiting. Eventually, Fedor’s going to be here. I want Fedor. I want him to come to the UFC and everything else,” said White. “[Brock Lesnar] just became the heavyweight champion. We’ll end up getting that deal done. And then we’ll do Brock vs. Fedor, and it’ll be a huge fight.”
White’s hopes to sign Emelianenko won’t be enough to persuade the Russian to enter the Octagon, as it appears Emelianenko would only consider fighting in the UFC should the promotion consider altering its contract terms.
The disagreement between Emelianenko and the UFC over the terms of a proposed contract is nothing new, with the same issue derailing a fight between “The Last Emperor” and the UFC’s then-heavyweight champion Randy Couture.
Emelianenko re-affirmed his distaste for the UFC’s contract terms in a recent interview with Bas Rutten on HDNet’s Inside MMA.
“At the present time, I don’t think so, I don’t think you’ll see me in the UFC, just because the terms, and the manner in which those terms are offered, are not acceptable today,” said Fedor.
The UFC will not only have to alter its terms to lure Fedor and reach an agreement, but will also have to compete for his services with Affliction, who, despite an uncertain future that has been well documented in recent months, is reportedly nearing a long-term agreement with the fighter, who is considered one of the world’s pound-for-pound best.
Checkout Emelianenko’s full interview from Inside MMA below:
[HT: Cage Potato]