Towards the end of the press conference yesterday, a frustrated Dana White uttered the following:
“Fedor sucks. He’s not even a top 5 heavyweight.”
Really? The consensus number one pound for pound fighter in the world sucks?
Sounds strange to hear, but o.k., let’s say that every man is entitled to their opinion (this is the U.S. after all). Then we should look at the following:
– Antonio Rodrigo Noguiera likely being put in a spot to fight for the vacant UFC heavyweight title on February 2, 2008. Noguiera and Emelianenko fought three times. Nogueira victories? Zero.
– White attempting to sign Emelianenko to a multi-fight contract – especially when he was offered to largest deal in UFC history.
– The UFC breaking the bank to sign Mirko Cro Cop if the Croatian wasn’t a top 5 fighter. Emelianenko 1 Cro Cop 0.
– Heath Herring’s contract being picked up from the WFA. Emelianenko thoroughly dominated Herring in their only encounter.
The list could go on. Clearly, White was disappointed in not signing Emelianenko, but it was difficult to listen to White run down Emelianenko during the press conference. None of the people on the line were buying it, and I gather no true fans of the sport agree either.
Regardless of yesterday’s announcements, the dream fight (for this year) everyone wants is still Randy Couture vs. Emelianenko. Every day, the fight seems further and further away from happening. The only way that I see fight becoming possible is if Couture settles his differences with the UFC, and Emelianenko restructures his M-1 deal.
By restructure, Emelianenko would have to provide the UFC with options on his next two to three fights should he beat Couture. The UFC can’t afford to have someone come in, defeat the UFC champ, and leave. But if Emelianenko comes in, defeats Couture and then has three more fights with the UFC, a deal could be possible.
Either way, the fight that Dana White and the rest of the U.S. really wants to see is Randy Couture vs The Guy who doesn’t suck.