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Fedor vs. Randy still possible in the UFC? (updated)

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Apy Echteld, one of Fedor’s agents, told ESPN The Magazine that Fedor could be a free agent as early as next week:

Apy Echteld, one of Emelianenko’s agents, confirmed what a source close to the situation previously told The Magazine: M-1 Global and Emelianenko will part ways some time in the next week, making the Russian a free agent. Divorce negotiations are ongoing right now, with a formal announcement likely for in the next few days. “Officially, yes, Fedor will be a free agent,” Echteld says.

And apparently Dana White is open to negotiation with Fedor and his people again should that be the case:

“Absolutely, 100 percent, in a heartbeat,” says White. “People think he’s the best—I don’t, not even close. But if it’s somehow possible, I would make it happen.”

“I like Randy, I genuinely like to think he’s a good guy,” White says. “As much as we’ve gone back and forth on this, I would sign Fedor and do everything possible to get Randy in the octagon with him. I’d do anything, because a., it’s a great fight and b., I think Randy would smash Fedor.”

I’ll believe all this when it comes to fruition, but don’t you think news like this regarding Fedor should be coming from Vadim Finklestein instead of Apy Echteld? Vadim is Fedor’s main agent and it just seems odd to me that this news isn’t coming from him. It’s nice to have hope, however, and for those of us pining for this fight, this is very good news.

Update (from Sam Caplan): MMAWeekly.com spoke with M-1 Global CEO Monte Cox last night and Cox indicated that Fedor is still with the promotion and he expects him to fight for M-1 Global in the spring. Without knowing with ESPN the Magazine spoke with Echteld, it’s hard to decipher fact from fiction.

Is this a case of the management of Fedor and the management of M-1 Global yet again not being on the same page? Or, is this a case of the Echteld quotes not being recent? Prior to speaking with Cox last week, I had heard many rumors that Fedor was on the verge of becoming a free agent and his management was already soliciting proposals from other promotions. After speaking with Cox several times last week, he indicated that a breakthrough had been made.

Regardless, if Fedor is indeed a free agent, I highly doubt that his management will be able to work out a deal with the UFC.

I’ll be making some phone calls today and hopefully will have an update later on.

52 COMMENTS
  • Evan says:

    How fast the MMA world turns…strap in folks!

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  • Jake says:

    I’m still not holding my breath on this one. I can’t see Fedor just jumping into the octagon after all that Dana has said about him.

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  • bubbafat says:

    Maybe the Natural jumped the gun a bit. No matter what Dana says , now he has to fight Minotauro first.

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  • Zack says:

    Dana does/says his fair share of crazy things, but it looks like he’ll be redeemed on his assessment of dealing with Fedor’s people. I bet Monte Cox comes out with the whole story soon, and something tells me it won’t be a completely favorable re-telling.

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  • Zack says:

    bubba – that does put a wrench in things, huh? but I bet they get around it by saying since Randy is the true HW champ, and Fedor still holds the Pride belt, that the interim belt becomes null.

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  • Kelvin says:

    Dana make it happen son!

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  • Ranger1071 says:

    I really don’t think Randy has to fight him at all. That’s the beauty of INTERM as a title. If I’m Dana I re-do Randy’s deal to make it so after the Fedor fight he has to settle up with Big Nog, but I assure you Randy doesn’t have to fight Big Nog. One of the precious few things that has been constant through this whole bloody saga is Randy saying it’s Fedor or no one.

    All of that said and even if Fedor hits the market again I have no doubt Mark Cuban will find a way to have a say in this.

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  • Eric says:

    No way they would make the interim title null. But no way they would put off the Fedor-Randy fight. They would have those two go at it first with the winner fighting Nog.

    Forgive me if I sound like a jackass, but what’s the deal with M-1 and Fedor? Last I heard they were building the promotion around him, now he’s going to be a free agent? Did I miss something. I’m constantly on here and mmajunkie and this is the first I’ve really seen about it. Can anyone provide a link to more on this issue? Thanks.

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  • Evan says:

    Eric…they failed and are folding it would seem.

    Pretty simple really…Nog fights the winner of Randy and Fedor.

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  • Zack says:

    Eric – Sam Caplan did a lengthy interview with M1 top guy Monte Cox. The link is on this site if you search. He basically can’t hide in the interview that it’s falling apart.

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  • ufcfan says:

    well so much for m-1 that was quick

    seriously though…fedor should be in the UFC
    deep down even he must realize this.

    but i’m not getting too excited here…until its on “ufc.com”
    i ain’t believin’ nothin’

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  • Gong says:

    Making the interim belt null is a terrible idea. I do think that they SHOULD put off the fight first. It just feels disrespectful to Nog to not do a unification bout since he does have the interim belt right now.

    Besides, it seems almost favourable to ACTUALLY make him the titleholder first (assuming he wins) and then having his next title defence against Fedor. This way, Dana can have the Nog fight he’s been asking for (and I mean, rightfully so) and then probably have Randy champ again (or you know, shamed). But either way, they would have Fedor signed.

    Also, while Randy fights Nog they can have Fedor face someone else … say, Tim Sylvia. Unless he manages to lose, the fans who aren’t aware of Fedor’s awesomeness can see him in action, dismantling one of the UFC most recognizable faces. Cause I mean, unless Fedor’s on some ridiculously short contract with bizarre terms, there really is no urgency to have both Randy and Fedor fight one other guy first.

    The simple promise that the fight WILL happen is more than enough for me. This is far better than an unending legal battle that’ll keep Couture out of any fights outside the Octagon while Fedor makes his money with another Hong Man Choi.

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  • Gong says:

    My god that was long. Sorry about that! And if I somehow sounded like an ass, I really didn’t mean to. Please try not to bite. XD

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  • Fedor rocks. I can't stand Dana says:

    Geez I cannot stand Dana White. His idiotic comments are supposed to do what? Make us more interested? I’d like to see Randy v Fedor but Randy is 16-8. Fedor is undefeated in Pride which, yes, had the better fighters (Rampage, Silva, Big Nog, Silva, Hendo, and on and on, and no one could even get close to beating Fedor – Nog was totally dominated). Randy is getting pretty old. Fedor is still fairly young. This hype is pretty f*** stupid. The fact is Fedor dominates his weight class, Spiderman dominates his. There are really not very many good match-ups in these divisions. Maybe Spiderman should move up.

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  • Donk says:

    If Dana hands him the same contract as before, then Fedor won’t sign. I can’t see the UFC wanting to negotiate on it, because what they seem to be great at is not negotiating and not making compromises. Building on top of that all the harsh insulting comments that have been dirrected at Fedor and his management team, i don’t see Fedor bending/breaking his principles and signing with them.

    Fighting in Sambo and fighting in Russia has always been a part of the freedom that Fedor wants, and of course a position for his Red Devil team in the stables too. I can’t see Dana wanting to negotiate on this.

    It all points to Fedor not going to the UFC. Since his managers have dealt with the management behind Dream on the yarennoka event, i can see them wanting to deal with them again. That seems a very natural choice. I see Fedor going to Dream along with the Red Devil team, and I think this is the place he will enjoy the most.

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  • Tanner says:

    Gong i agree but it hink they’d have Randy and Fedor fight first and then the winter fight Big Nog even if it did happen to be fedor. I don’t know how much a Fedor vs Big Nog ppv would sell but that seems like the best answer to me.

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  • Echolocating says:

    Couture should fight Nogueira and, regardless of the result, then fight Emelianenko. That way, Randy finishes his contract and can move on. Of course, if Fedor comes to the UFC negotiating table, how will things be any different this time around?

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  • Andrej says:

    Who Else will pay Fedor Emelianko $$$? DREAM, Affliction, UFC and WVR (They Signed Takanomi Gomi os maybe). And there is no way EliteXC will get him or afford to pay what he demand’s.

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  • jaydog says:

    Who knows which promotion Fedor will wind up with. But, don’t we all love the Dana drama? I expect Lex Luther to offer Fedor less money and tad bit more freedom, then he’ll play it like “the big bad Russian came crawling back cuz he knows the UFC is the best place to fight.” Who knows if Fedor’s mgmt goes for it. My vote is for Cuban to make things happen somehow.

    Gong: I agree that an interim title means that the old champ has to go through the interim dude first, but with Randy, it’s not so simple. He says he’s got one or two good fight left in him and he wants Fedor. The clock is ticking, cuz he’s old and he’s on a hot streak. I think we see Nog vs. Werdum before Fedor or Randy get in the octagon against anyone.

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  • Eric says:

    I don’t think you can put off the Randy-Fedor fight because I think you jeopardize the magnitude of the match if you have either of them fight someone else first and potentially lose. Would the UFC rather promote Heavyweight Champion Randy against Pride Heavyweight Champion Fedor or Randy the guy who just lost to Big Nog against Fedor, the guy who maybe just lost to Tim Sylvia. I think they’re a bigger draw against each other as soon as possible. You can’t muddy the waters and hold off because who knows how long Randy is going to fight. Put him up against Nog, maybe he blows out his knee and never fights again. You just lost a Huge match up that had all kinds of pub around it.

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  • steve24 says:

    Who cares! I’m tired of hearing about Randy and Fedor.

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  • Zack says:

    Yeah, it’s nice to say he should fight Nog first but that’s just not gonna happen and wouldn’t be smart business.

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  • woooburn says:

    i’m with you steve24. i’ll believe it when i see it. all the lead up stuff is meaningless to me.

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  • Ian says:

    I just don’t see Fedor signing with the UFC after all the vitriol from Dana. I’m guessing Dana wants no part of signing Fedor either, and I’m also guessing he’ll offer him the same contract terms knowing that he’ll turn it down. I mean, what happens when Fedor demolishes Randy like I know he will? (Hey I love Randy – I’m just a realist.)

    He’s left completely wrong about a fight, (admittedly that’s nothing new) – all the TUF fanboi lemmings that worship the god-speak from Dana see that “this fedor guy is kinda good”, and he’s now left with a heavyweight champion that despises him, with absolutely 0 real talent in the division to challenge him.

    Just a hunch. This ends with Fedor signing with HDnet.

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  • NealTaflinger says:

    Anyone who took M-1 seriously should stop drinking the Kool Aid.

    I fully believe that Fedor is a nobody to the average casual MMA fan, a guy that hardcores talk about constantly and no one else cares about bc he hasn’t made a cameo on or coached a season of TUF.

    DREAM/World Victory Road and the UFC are Fedor’s only real options, and that is a stretch. EliteXC couldn’t do anything with him besides let him expose Kimbo and fuck up their investment. HDNet Fights could pay them both $10 million so 50,000 people could watch the fight. IFL?

    I think at this stage in the game D. White would bend a bit to get Fedor, the fight would promote itself and he’d get some goodwill out of it. The problem is Zuffa has painted themselves into a corner with non-compete contracts. If they sign Fedor and say he can fight for Mixed Fight of Cage Maximum Rally Championship in St. Petersburg or do 30 sambo fights a year, then every UFC vet will want to restructure their contracts in similar ways. If you gotta sign all of Red Devil along with Fedor then every fight team is going to want to go all in when one of their guys gets a taste. Slippery slope.

    At the end of the day this has nothing to do with fighting, it’s about the future of labor practices in MMA.

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  • Tommy says:

    Randy Couture by Doctor stoppage due to cut in the third.

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  • Grape Knee High says:

    Before we all jump the gun here, didn’t Randy sign a contract with HDNet? Seems to me that there is a whole shitload of legal wrangling from which Couture needs to extract himself before we can even contemplate a Randy/Fedor match.

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  • paddiosf says:

    This news is something I wasn’t expecting….Fedor a free agent but if your look at M-1 who else is he going to fight..the Pride leftovers are going to the Dream organization so he’s probaly telling them to release from his deal..Fedor wants to fight, that matchup could like Ali/Foreman..the battle of all MMA battles..but like previous comments Fedor is so prone to cuts…I hope he’s had some good plastic surgery to clean up his scar tissue..If not it’s Couture in a stoppage from a cut…

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  • Accomando says:

    M-1 has been and always will be a JOKE!

    Wow, does Sylvia look stupid now, although, I guess he has always looked stupid….

    “..Eh, my managa is the CEO of M-1, eh, UFC betta give me lots a money, -fart noise-…”

    Only morons thought M-1 would be anything, ha, ha, ha. Fedor doesn’t sell tickets in America, the fatal Russian flaw….

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  • DRizzle says:

    “”And apparently Dana White is open to negotiation with Fedor and his people again should that be the case:

    “Absolutely, 100 percent…….””

    That quote would hold much more water if we knew WHEN he said it. Today?

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  • Sam Cupitt says:

    A little bit of vitriol… DON’T LET YOURSELF DOWN… my bad.

    My thoughts are Fedor is pissed at Vadim. Because he wants to fight real fighters and Vadim just wants reality TV shows and freak shows.

    MAKE THIS FIGHT HAPPEN!

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  • Rln says:

    I can only imagine the delicious drama and backpedaling that will occur if Fedor signs with the UFC and it’s Coutures only way to fight him. I guess we’d see if fighting Fedor is really > than $$.

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  • Kelvin says:

    If the Fedor/Randy fight doesn’t happen now…I don’t think you can blame Dana White this time(I didn’t blame him the first time)…if these two guys want to fight each other…they need to make it happen.

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  • ufcfan says:

    here’s where the idea of an interm belt could make sense.

    you could put the randy-fedor fight on for the title
    and the winner face nog for the “unified” title.

    this has been such a roller coaster ride that until it’s signed “in blood” (LOL)
    i can’t believe any of these reports.

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  • Sam Cupitt says:

    It will be hilarious if this does happen because Nogueira will be sitting there with his interim belt waiting to fight Randy.

    Then Fedor comes in to fight Randy and Nogueira is just sitting their with his interim title that means fuck all. Interim champion usually means number 1 contender, but if they sign Fedor it basically means Nog has a belt which says he’s the “third best heavyweight”.

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  • brutus says:

    For the UFC to do it, they would have to strip Randy of the belt and make Nog the only champ. That way randy and fedor can fight a #1 contender of sorts. Probably won’t happen though.

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  • Sam Cupitt says:

    Everyone would have an angergasm if they made that fight 3 rounds.

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  • Eric says:

    It wouldn’t be 3 rounds. Randy is still the champ and the UFC has never said otherwise about that fact. It will be 5 if they ever fight. And Dana isn’t dumb enough to put off the big money fight of Randy and Fedor. Nog will wait for the winner and that fight will unify Randy/Fedor’s heavyweight title and Nog’s interim title.

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  • ctownhood says:

    I hope this happens..I do feel Fedor is the best…but he is definitely motivated by $$$, and not necessarily fighting the best fighters. The UFC should be able to throw enough dough at him to make this happen. I hope Fedor makes having a fight with Dana part of the negotiations though ;)

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  • dice says:

    # # 18 Andrej Says:
    March 6th, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    “Who Else will pay Fedor Emelianko $$$? DREAM, Affliction, UFC and WVR (They Signed Takanomi Gomi os maybe). And there is no way EliteXC will get him or afford to pay what he demand’s.”

    First, Elitexc can definitely afford him. They have enough money behind them right now to get a high profile free agent like Fedor. Will they do it? Doubt it, since they seem to be more interested in creating personalities rather than signing top fighters. But I wouldn’t rule them out just yet.

    You seem to forget the most obvious of choices: HDnet. They have the resources and seem to be interested in building a top notch organization. Everyone seems to be real concerned with the lack of households that the channel can reach, but I think that will be changing soon since anyone who has ever seen it, wants it(its the highest quality HD channel I have). I see no possible way that Fedor will sign with the UFC, since we all know that the UFC refuses to compromise.

    # 39 ctownhood Says:
    March 7th, 2008 at 9:49 am

    “I hope this happens..I do feel Fedor is the best…but he is definitely motivated by $$$, and not necessarily fighting the best fighters.”

    $$ and fighting the top fighters isn’t/shouldn’t be mutually exclusive options. Here is a wild idea, maybe he could make the most money while fighting the top fighters. Also I think that Fedor is interested in the freedom of his contract more than anything else. The UFC contract was competitive with just about any other offer he recieved (as far as we know), but had too many restrictions. Your comment that “the UFC should be able to throw enough dough at him..” doesn’t make sense. They always had enough dough to get him. But as fedor said in a statement regarding the issue, the contract had so many stipulations and clauses that it was told to him by his lawyers that it was patently impossible to sign it.

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  • cyphron says:

    Isn’t this the same Monte Cox who said that Fedor is not fighting in Japan NYE? And Fedor still fought in Japan NYE. This is a case of the head not knowing what the body is doing. Monte Cox and M-1 is a sinking boat and Fedor is abandoning ship.

    Ha, 2 mill a fight. I thought it was ludicrous that an organization would pay him 2 mil a fight when there are no fighters to fight and no arenas to sell. It’s a shell game and anyone who invested in this is out of his money. M-1 will fold within the year.

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  • mike wolfe says:

    There is a lot of nuance to this, and more than just UFC and Dana White. Fedor’s management has an approach and an agenda that’s difficult to discern. Their dealings with M-1 should give UFC or any org. reservations about contracts with them. They signed with M-1 and apparently haven’t cooperated meaningfully since then. What makes everybody think that they’ll perform after they sign with UFC? Furthermore, how do we know that Fedor is calling the shots, or that he even knows what Vadim is up to? I don’t think he speaks English, so who’s keeping him informed, and what are they telling him? This wouldn’t be the first time that a fighter is used like a pawn by his manager. Don King, anybody?

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  • Nick says:

    He really thinks Randy would smash Fedor? wow.

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  • Keenan says:

    definetly fedor vs randy first… do u have Nog fight in between?

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  • Zantetzuken says:

    3 way fight IMO lol. Battle Royal for the Heavyweight Title! Strap it onto a chain and hang it high above the octagon! Have ladders were the 3 would fight till the bitter end to grab it! Oh wait…

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  • Jiu-Jitsu Guy says:

    Why does Dana White always take sides on fighters? He is a piece of sh*t.

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  • No one really left for Fedor to fight says:

    Agree with J-J guy. Anyway, aside from the contractual issues, does anyone out there seriously think Randy (16-8) can beat Fedor ( no real losses)? I think probably not. Fedor manhandled Big Nog twice already. It’s not even clear Randy would beat Nog. I like Randy but he’s not getting any younger. I think Fedor is clearly #1, but who is there for him to fight? Super HW Choi with knees allowed? We only say Randy because Randy was UFC champ. The old Pride guys already kicked all the UFC guys’ butts and took the titles and let’s face it Big Nog is not even in the same league as Fedor. Randy vs. Nog might be interesting.

    I think this realistic matchup problem is the reason Pride had some of those totally ridiculous matchups. At least they were entertaining in a pro-wrestling sort of way.

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  • alemão says:

    PODE VIM FEDOR!
    NÓIS DO BNRASIL SOMOS O MELHORES!

    CORINTHIANS MINHA VIDA ,CORINTHIANS MINHA HISTÓRIA, CORINTHIANS MEU AMOR!

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  • alemão says:

    BRASIL!!!
    BRASIL!!!

    CORINTHIANS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Juelz says:

    Fedor is already included in DREAMs trailers and build up for DREAM 1.
    Also in an interview Crocop talking about a rematch being a possibility and he signed with DREAM.
    So forget a fight between Randy and Fedor in the UFC, it really doesn’t matter for me where the fight takes place but i guess fedor will fight in DREAM but i’m not sure if Randy wants to fight in japan.
    They will probably make the most money if they fought in the US so the only possible scenario i can see is a one fight deal with HDnet and then Fedor will move on to DREAM.

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  • Cláudio says:

    Stop with all this shit, before Randy´s fight with Fedor, he must provide us the final prove that he is that good, it means he has to fight Minotauro Nog and, despite i admire Randy, I believe that he will have a fire test, from there we will see what would be Randy to Fedor

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  • jason hughes says:

    lots of bad quotes, randy would smash fedor,the ufc is unwilling to comprmise, come on. If dana was as strict with the intrests of the ufc he would have already put an end to the idea of anderson fighting roy jones jr already, and we know that randy is ever going to actually smash fedor, he might cut him or decision him if they ever end up fighting. Ithink the ufc loses big time if someone else pulls this fight off and it ends up in a ring because i think fedor has a huge advantage, throw in 3 or4 middle of the road fights with good non ufc fighters,and there are alot of them out there and i think the chances of a good night of fighting are there for the taking.IT wouldnt take much to hype this fight to the true mma fans who have knowledge of the the sport not just the brand name like ufc or pride or ifl etc etc.

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