Dana White: "I Have Nothing Against Fedor, It Was Always His Management"
Emelianenko, who is widely considered the greatest heavyweight of all time, was in serious negotiations with the UFC throughout various points of his career, but the two sides were never able to come to an agreement.
Fans continued to petition and plead for the UFC to sign the former Pride heavyweight champion, but in the end, it just wasn't meant to be.
After scoring a first round knockout over Pedro Rizzo in June, Emelianenko officially announced his retirement from MMA.
In an interview with MMAJunkie, White explains why the UFC never signed "The Last Emperor:"
I have nothing against Fedor whatsoever. He's definitely got some hardcore fans, man. I mean the guy can get knocked out four times in a row, and they still think he's the [expletive] greatest ever. I don't hate the guy. There's definitely no hate at all for Fedor. It was always his management. Anytime you ever heard me talk, it was about "Vadummy" [Vadim Finkelstein] or the guys who managed his career.
There were serious negotiations between the UFC and Emelianenko's management in 2009. Unfortunately, the deal fell through, and Strikeforce swooped in to pick up the big money contract.
As with every major decision in life, there will always be what ifs.
For White, he still reminisces about the planned super fight between Emelianenko and former UFC heavyweight champ Brock Lesnar.
Emelianenko's perfect record was still intact, and Lesnar was a world champion at the time. It could've been the biggest fight in MMA history.
"Obviously, I would have loved to make that fight with him and Brock at that point in time. It would have been awesome, but it obviously didn't happen."
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