The emotional roller coaster of the UFC's possible acquisition of heavyweight superstar Fedor "The Last Emperor" Emelianenko has left fan sites like Bleacher Report ablaze with frustration and conflicting opinions.
I'll be the first to admit that the stalled negotiations have all but ruined my MMA week and soured my normally cordial attitude.
Finding a way to get Fedor into the UFC would have opened the door for a number of dream matchups that now seem destined to remain in the realm of fantasy, not the least of which would pit him against the reigning titan, Brock Lesnar.
This news has left fans and followers of the sport standing on opposite sides of a proverbial fence desperately shouting at each other, pleading their cases for the assignment of blame. Someone has to be found guilty of causing this tragedy. Let's have a look inside the courtroom.
The prosecution calls Dana White and the UFC to the stand.
The world's largest mixed martial arts organization has much to offer the legendary Fedor. An immediate title shot would play to his sense of competition. A hefty purse would appeal to his monetary desires, if he has any.
Expressed permission to continue participating in his beloved sambo tournaments would flatter his patriotism and sense of tradition. An exemption clause allowing him to wear all the M-1 gear his modest (for a heavyweight) frame can carry would allow him to promote his brand to the largest target audience possible.
But will you, UFC, allow M-1 to co-promote several shows with you?
UFC: Nay, sir. That simply cannot be done.
The prosecution calls M-1. M-1...What's the deal?
M-1: The deal is we want co-promotion. Bodog granted it. Affliction granted it. The market is so big that no one company can possibly cover it all...
(UFC yells from the back, "But we can try!")
Judge: Pipe down UFC, you'll get your chance. Continue M-1.
M-1: We are interested in co-promotion. That is the direction we intend to take our company.
Well, UFC, what do you say?
UFC: It doesn't make sense for us to do anything like that. Why would we help promote a rival brand? We're doing great while other promotions are closing up shop. Why should we share our success? If the tables were turned, would M-1 accommodate us just to get Georges St. Pierre or Anderson Silva?
M-1: No, no we wouldn't.
Judge: Well, it was a good try, but it doesn't look like it's going to happen guys. The fans will be disappointed.
UFC and M-1 (in unison): We know.
Judge: It's likely that you, Fedor, won't be able to find much competition.
Fedor: What? I'm sorry, I wasn't paying attention. I was watching that bird outside the window.
Judge: Never mind. UFC, you'll be stuck with the stigma of never signing the greatest heavyweight ever.
UFC: Yeah, we accept that. People buy the PPV's like they are going out of style regardless. It's not like we live or die based on adding Fedor to our roster. We were really just trying to shut up the crowd over at Bleacher Report. They've been pestering us relentlessly to get this guy.
UFC and M-1 shake hands.
UFC: Your Kung Fu is very strong.
M-1: As is yours. Perhaps we will meet again someday.
As for the rest of us, "Serenity now! Serenity now!"