“I’m not a fan of the UFC,” top-ranked heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko said today when asked whether his June 26 showdown with fellow Strikeforce contender Fabricio Werdum was more important than the July 3 UFC 116 headliner between UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar and Shane Carwin.
“I believe our fight is more important,” Emelianenko explained. “I’m not a fan of watching [UFC] fights. … There seems to be a lot of negativity in their shows, so I’m just not a fan of watching their programs. Also, the actions and behavior of some UFC fighters take away from the sport.”
While the demands of Emelianenko’s M-1 Global management are commonly cited for the former PRIDE champ not signing with the UFC, today’s comments hint that Emelianenko himself may prefer to remain outside the world’s top promotion.
UFC President Dana White has frequently said Emelianenko shouldn’t be considered among the world’s best until he fights in the UFC, and recently claimed that the upcoming event was struggling to sell tickets, a rumor denied by Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker, who said 10,000 tickets have been sold for the Showtime-televised card at the HP Pavilion in San Jose.
“Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Werdum” also includes 145-pound women’s champ Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos vs. Jan Finney and a rematch between former middleweight champ Cung Le and Scott Smith.