Former Pride heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko is considered one of, if not the best, fighters to ever step foot inside the cage.
However, detractors argue that the legacy of "The Last Emperor" is tarnished since he never competed for the UFC in 40 professional fights.
Speaking through a translator on WHOA! TV, the 37-year-old Russian fan favorite explained why he never made his way to the world's premiere MMA organization, putting the blame on UFC President Dana White (transcription via MMA Fighting).
In my opinion, everything was in Dana White's hands. Because at that moment, I just felt like 'this guy, he just hates us.' Like, personally to [me]. There were insults coming from Dana White all the time. There were many very loud things said, but for real nothing happened. It was [all talk].
After Emelianenko made his debut with Strikeforce in November 2009, the No. 2 MMA promotion at the time, and scoring a TKO over Brett Rogers, it seemed logical that the UFC would come calling some time soon.
Apparently, Emelianenko inside the Octagon just wasn't meant to be as he then went through the worst stretch of his career, getting finished in three consecutive bouts.
In one of the biggest upsets in combat sports, highly regarded Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Fabricio Werdum submitted the seemingly untouchable Fedor in June 2010, earning a tapout via a triangle armbar.
The bout marked the first time Fedor had lost in nearly a decade and the first time he was finished decisively.
After suffering back-to-back TKOs to Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva and Dan Henderson, Emelianenko fought the last three bouts of his career outside of the United States, adding three more clear-cut victories to his resume before calling it a career last summer.
While Emelianenko never made it to the UFC roster, he defeated a number of UFC mainstays in his career including Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (twice), Mark Coleman (twice), Mark Hunt, Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic and Andrei Arlovski, to name a few.
Who was truly to blame for the legendary Fedor never making it to the UFC: his management team, White or a combination of the two?
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