For the first time in history, the UFC ran shows on consecutive weekend nights last Friday and Saturday. It was the first time, in fact, that UFC matchmaker Joe Silva has not attended a UFC event since he was hired as matchmaker. That's quite the streak of attending events.
The pair of UFC cards also helped overshadow the retirement of a true legend: Fedor Emelianenko, who announced he was leaving the sport after his knockout win over Pedro Rizzo in Russia. Emelianenko talked to Inside MMA last night to discuss his reasons for leaving:
People will accept my decision. They gotta understand that it's my decision and I've got to go. You shouldn't be disappointed that I'm leaving. Life is going on. I want to thank everyone who has supported me. Eventually the time to go was coming. My time has come. We'll try to make some new MMA stars.
Inside MMA's Ron Kruck tweeted last night that the UFC is, after all of these years and all of the failed negotiations, still interested in signing Emelianenko to a contract:
Sources have told me the UFC is still interested in signing Fedor Ememlianenko.Personally I think he stays retired - @rkruck— Inside MMA (@InsideMMAHDNet) June 26, 2012
Last weekend, M-1 Global's website was hacked to display text that said Emelianenko had signed with the UFC and would face Brock Lesnar in his debut fight. It was the cruelest of pranks for MMA fans who've longed to see "The Last Emperor" strut into the Octagon to take on the modern fight game's best heavyweights.
Emelianenko was asked on the show if Lesnar or any big-name opponent could lure him out of retirement:
I'm not promising, but anything is possible.
What do I think? I think Fedor stays retired. I can't imagine M-1 having a change of heart and suddenly dropping the ridiculous co-promotion that they feel they're entitled to, even after the tough last few years Fedor's gone through. With that demand still in place, the UFC will never sign him to a deal.
But man, oh man, could you imagine it finally happening, after all of these years? And Lesnar would make a perfect first opponent. Fedor beats him, and he'll likely scurry back to his farm or to wrestling or to football, and you're only out two million bucks or so. If Lesnar beat Fedor, you'd have another player in the heavyweight division.
Either way, it would be a fight for the ages.