The he said / she said between Dana White and Fedor’s management continues. You’ll remember a few weeks back, Five Ounces of Pain had an interview with Fedor manager Vadim Finkelstein where Vadim claimed there were no crazy demands for Russian events or Russian fighters bundled into a Fedor contract. Now here’s Dana directly contradicting him:
“When I first met with these guys, I was with them in the U.K.,” said White. “They said to me, ‘Here’s what we want to do. My brother is the biggest rock concert promoter over there so here’s what we want. We want you to build an arena in Russia.’ I said, ‘Time out. I’m not looking to build arenas.'”
The UFC is definitely interested in Emelianenko, but only on similar terms as the rest of the fighters it employs. “If he wants to fight with us, we’ll pay him what he wants,” said White. “We’ll bring him in and promote him, but it’s not about Fedor when you talk to these guys.”
During negotiations, White has only dealt with Emelianenko’s management. “I’ve never met Fedor,” said White. “I’ve never said one word to him. I’ve never seen him face to face.”
White clearly believes it is Emelianenko’s management holding him back. He points the finger at one person directly. “Their judgment on who they do business with is strange,” said White. “They work with (M-1 USA vice president) Jerry Millen. Does that say enough for you? That sums it up right there.”
For all the back and forth between the UFC and Fedor’s management, at least the UFC has been consistant: they want Fedor, they’ll pay for Fedor, but Fedor’s management is unreasonable. And while I think we all agree that the UFC’s contracts are pretty fucking tight, you’ve got around 150 other top fighters who have signed up and are doing well enough.