After Affliction's collapse, I had deja vu: Fedor Emelianenko, possibly the greatest MMA fighter in the history of the sport, was a free agent. The greatest MMA organization in the history of the sport seemed likely to strike up a deal that would be the greatest MMA deal ever.
Just like in 2007, when Pride was bought by the UFC, the best fighter ever, Fedor Emelianenko, couldn't reach an agreement. But we shouldn't be surprised by this.
The phrase "history repeats itself" applies to this situation. There are many comparisons to this in the history of the world. For example, in 1812 Napoleon invaded Russia while still at war with Great Britain, which was his downfall—which was repeated by Hitler in 1941.
This does show that history repeats itself, and we were all foolish to expect Fedor to sign with the UFC, especially after seeing what transpired the first time a deal was expected to be made in 2007.
Rumors flew around in 2007 about why Fedor didn't sign; his management team demanding that UFC build a stadium in Russia was a personal favorite.
The same thing happened this year, with the general consensus being that the reason Fedor didn't sign with the UFC was because they wouldn't do a deal unless M-1 co-promoted with the UFC, something Dana White did and should obviously decline.
We can't be sure what the terms of the deal were. They could've been what the UFC speculated them to be—six fights, $30 million—or they could be something completely different. We shouldn't jump to conclusions as to why Fedor didn't sign; we should just accept it and get on with our MMA lives.
I’m sure if Strikeforce goes down, Fedor won't sign with the UFC because of some ridiculous claims of what his team wants in return, like he will only sign if the UFC allows him to use a sledgehammer in all of his fights.
My point is that Fedor won't sign with the UFC ever, because he is the final jewel in the UFC's crown, the one fighter that the UFC wants so desperately but cannot get.
He will end his career fighting at small events all over the world, while the UFC will continue their dominance in the MMA world and end up with a deal with ESPN.