The folks over at Strikeforce recently held a national teleconference for the media featuring CEO Scott Coker, as well as heavyweight fighter Fedor "The Last Emperor" Emelianenko, and Fabricio Werdum, who will meet on June 26 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California.
While most of the chatter from the conference call was appropriately geared towards their upcoming bout, eventually the topic of conversation turned from Werdum towards the UFC.
The contractual obstacles between Emelianenko and the UFC have been well reported for some time now. Dana White's disdain for Showtime and consequently Strikeforce is another issue that has often found its way into the media—most recently with White looking to sign the former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion in Jake Shields.
Dana White almost always gets what he wants. Almost.
White always appears to be hopeful in a future Fedor signing, but a couple of statements made by Emelianenko may have Dana second guessing a future with the two.
When asked about his thoughts on the upcoming bout between UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar and challenger Shane Carwin at UFC 116 in July, "The Last Emperor" stated, “I’m not a UFC fan so I would invite all the fans to watch our fight because we are not in the UFC.”
On the surface that quote alone wouldn't seem like much seeing as Fedor, as he stated, isn't affiliated with the UFC. One would hardly blame him for trying to promote his own career.
Yet, when asked to go into detail on in his thoughts about guys like Dana, who have been critical of his career he said:
“I often get secondhand information and my friends will tell me stuff because I don’t pay attention to it or seek it out, so that’s how I usually get information to what people are saying.
As far as my reaction, I don’t have any reaction.I don’t respond to any compliments of criticism. It’s not something that’s very important to me and I don’t really like to seek out information on what people are saying about me. I’m more interested in spending quality time in my everyday life with my family and friends than cruising the Internet or listening to rumors or call-outs.”
“What I meant to say is that I’m not a fan of watching their fights. Compared to a lot of commercials and the promotion and the anticipation of their fights compared to a lot of the shows I’ve seen there seems to be a lot of negativity in them. So I’m just not a fan of watching their programs. How the fights are presented and the actions and behavior of some of the fighters of the UFC. It takes away from the sport."
Fedor, who's company M-1 Global has already made a point to rework his contract with Strikeforce, seems to have found a home for his fighting career.
At least for now.
If he and Strikeforce do indeed decide to part ways it's anyone's guess as to where he would end up.
Obviously the UFC would be the highest profile place he could land.
But considering their history paired with his recent comments regarding the UFC as a whole, I'd be surprised if the two were able to come to any sort of agreement.
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