There has never been a better time for UFC President Dana White to bite the bullet and sign Fedor Emelianenko.
Thanks to Alistair Overeem failing his pre-fight drug test for UFC 146, the promotion is scrambling to find a suitable replacement to step in against heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos on May 26.
Dan Henderson and Mark Hunt appear to be the potential frontrunners for the title shot if Overeem is denied license from the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
Isn't the sport about giving fans the fights they want to see?
Fans have been pleading for the UFC to sign Emelianenko for years. Unfortunately, M-1 Global has held up the process in the past with useless hopes of co-promoting with the UFC.
In a recent post on Twitter, UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta was asked if he would negotiate with Emelianenko and his management if they sought a contract without co-promotion.
"I would," Fertitta tweeted.
Before getting cut from Strikeforce, Emelianenko was coming off three straight losses to Dan Henderson, Fabricio Werdum and Antonio Silva. He has since picked up a pair of wins over Jeff Monson and Satoshi Ishii.
Do wins over Monson and Ishii warrant a UFC title shot?
The answer to that question is a resounding no, but the UFC heavyweight division finds itself in an unusual situation. Every top-10 heavyweight is either already tied up with another fight or not ready to headline a major UFC pay-per-view.
Henderson is an interesting prospect, but considering the significant size advantage he'd be giving up to Dos Santos, it's a bout that really doesn't make any sense.
Hunt is probably the most deserving heavyweight. After enduring six straight losses, the former K-1 star has turned his career around with three consecutive wins in the Octagon over Cheick Kongo, Ben Rothwell and Chris Tuchscherer.
A UFC title shot for Hunt at this point in his career could live out one of the grandest Cinderella stories in MMA history.
With that said, the average fan still doesn't even know who Mark Hunt is.
He has only been featured on two main cards in nearly two years of fighting under the UFC banner. Fans have begun to rally around Hunt as Overeem's potential replacement, but generally speaking, that group mainly consists of hardcore MMA fans.
The blockbuster fight is Dos Santos and Emelianenko. Regardless of Emelianenko's recent track record, fans still want to see him fight in the UFC.
UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture was coming off a loss to Chuck Liddell when he stepped in against Tim Sylvia for the heavyweight title back in March 2007.
What say you? Would you rather drop 50 bucks on Dos Santos vs. Hunt or Dos Santos vs. Fedor?
Looking for some more MMA news, and perhaps a couple of laughs? Follow me on Twitter @JordyMcElroy
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