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Dana White leaves door open for UFC return by Andrei Arlovski

Editor’s Note: Content from this article appears courtesy of CBSSports.com.

The UFC has dominated the MMA world for the past decade. During that time period, only one person has gone to another organization that they really wanted to keep.

“In nine years, there’s only one fighter that I’ve lost that I didn’t want to lose,” said UFC President Dana White. “That was (Andrei) Arlovski, and it still bothers me.”

White tried very hard to keep Arlovski in the UFC.

“I jumped on a plane and flew to Chicago with Lorenzo (Fertitta) and kissed his butt to try to make him not leave,” said White.

Money was not the main issue with the former heavyweight champion. Arlovski wanted to expand into other entertainment areas.

“He wanted to box on HBO. He had a lot of different things that he wanted to do that I couldn’t let him do.”

After becoming a free agent, Arlovski signed with Affliction Entertainment. He defeated both Ben Rothwell and Roy Nelson since signing on. Now, Arlovski is set to face one of the top heavyweights in the world in Fedor Emelianenko in the coming weeks.

“That will be a very interesting fight,” said White.

While White admits to having tried to sign Emelianenko to a very large monetary deal in the past, White does not want to proclaim Arlovski’s opponent the top heavyweight in the world.

“I’ll never say that Fedor is the best until he jumps in there and fights the best on a consistent basis.”

34 COMMENTS
  • Jeff L says:

    Dana just covering his bases in case the unthinkable happens and Arlovski beats Fedor. I’m betting if Fedor rolls through Arlovski, that is the last we will hear from Dana on how much he wanted to keep Andrei.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • Ertz says:

    Well isn’t that the truth as Fedor has fought a bunch of chumps. You don’t see any UFC Heavyweight Champ fighting some random kick boxer for the title.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • Nick Travaglini says:

    Very interesting Gary. I always wanted to know why Arlovski left, its nice to finally have confirmation.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Greg says:

    IF ARLOVSKI CAN KEEP THE FIGHT STANDING HE HAS A GREAT SHOT OF BEATING FEDOR , IF THE FIGHT HITS THE FLOOR HOWEVER FEDOR WILL SUBMIT HIM !!!!!!!!!!!!!! UNTIL FEDOR IS BEAT HE WILL ALWAYS BE MY FAVORITE IN ANY FIGHT!!! ITS TOO BAD THE UFC CAN’T GET A DEAL DONE TO SIGN FEDOR. FRANK MIR VS FEDOR!! HOW SICK!! MUCH RESPECT MR . FRANK MIR WHAT A WIN OVER NOGS !!!! TAKE IT TO BROCK’S ASS AGAIN AND THE MMA WORLD CAN REJOICE KNOWING THE BELT IS AROUND THE WAIST OF TRUE MMA GREATNESS!!!!

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  • NJMMAFAN says:

    frank mir would get thrashed…and like dana said about andrei wanting to box on hbo n dana couldnt let him, fedor wants to be able to compete sambo or whatever in russia and dana wouldnt let him.. he would have been foolish not to take the money dana was probably offering him had that not been the problem…unless he wants to keep beating up unranked competition…glad hes fighting andrei though

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  • Greg says:

    OH YEAH ERTZ YOU SAY FEDOR HAS FOUGHT ONLY CHUMPS? LOL ARE YOU HIGH ? IF THE LIKES OF RANDLEMAN , CROCOP , NOGS , SLYVIA , LINDLAND , AND COLEMAN ARECHUMPS AS YOU PUT IT, THEN I’D HAVE TO SAY YOU HAVEN’T A CLUE ABOUT MMA!!!

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  • Greg says:

    MIR WOULD GET THRASHED YOU SAY NJMMAFAN LOL YOU MUST BE TOKING ON THE SAME SHIT AS ERTZ ….

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • WebGarden says:

    Who did White say this to?

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • JJ Docker says:

    Haha, Greg. Can you not find the caps lock button mate?

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • Joseph says:

    LOL at the Fedor haters.

    Fedor is the best and not Mir or Lesnar will ever achieve his level.
    Have fun UFC with your B Level HWs.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Binners says:

    For what its worth Mir would get thrashed by Fedor and I’m not toking on anything right now, I just don’t think Mir isn’t anywhere near as good as Fedor, never has been never will be. Mir looked great against Nog but I would look great against Nog the way he fought that night. Fedor actually whooped Nog in his prime.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Mike Wolfe says:

    Arlovski will probably lose, but that might not matter to White. A motivated Arlovski would still be a competitive heavyweight in any org including UFC.

    As far as Fedor’s dominance, the issue becomes increasingly academic as the years roll on. ‘Nog’s loss to Mir proves that even the toughest fighters eventually lose to somebody younger, faster, and stronger, and Fedor’s no different. If Fedor doesn’t continue to fight top fighters in big promotions, two years from now fewer fans will remember him or care. And in five years only the “old timers” will remember.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • DamonO says:

    I love it when I spend a couple of minutes typing something up and then I get an error message saying that I am typing too fast. I hit the back button and my whole message is gone. Really frustrating.

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  • DamonO says:

    Arlovski is welcomed back regardless of win or lose guaranteed.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Grappo says:

    there’s no shame losing to Fedor (which he will.) I’d love AA back in the UFC as well.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Robert says:

    Dana is basically saying he didn’t want to let Arlovski go in case Arlovski lands that fatal blow that puts down Fedor which isn’t impossible. Then he can put on a positive spin for the UFC. When he says “I’ll never say Fedor is the best until he fights the best on a consistent basis” Translation I’ll never say Fedor is the best till he’s in the UFC.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • egad81 says:

    I got AA beating Fedor… then bringing the wamma belt to the UFC
    WHAT?

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Fred says:

    We don’t need for Dana to say Fedor is the best heavyweight. Fedor is the best heavyweight, period.

    As for Arlovski, he has always been a great fighter, and Dana is showing a rare moment of candor by admitting that the UFC didn’t want to lose him. Affliction won’t be around for much longer, so the UFC will have a chance to get Arlovski back. It would be great to see.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Greg says:

    binners u say fedor ” wooped ” nogs – he won by decision twice – get your facts straight lol MIR knocked big nogs out ! you do the math frank mir is the best and most gifted heavyweight fighting today!!! fedor is AWESOME in his own right but for people to say mir would get thrashed have no clue what they are talking about

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  • KTru says:

    Fedor beats AA easily and shows all the idiots out there(95% of those idiots post their dumb remarks here) that think his recent bouts have been against less-than-stellar competition is a fluke.
    Fedor proves he is on another level.
    Fedor would beat Mir in approximately same amount of time as Sylvia.

    Those idiots will still have something to hate on about Fedor.

    To those mindless responses to say I am on Fedor’s nuts…… I am not, but I know who the Baddest Man in MMA is. Plain and simple, so come up with something original.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Ian says:

    Greg – Your response is fairly ignorant on many levels. You obviously weren’t following the sport back when they fought, and yet, you talk about someone else not having a clue. In some circles they call that irony.

    Fedor fought Nog when he was in his absolute prime. At the time, he was considered fairly unbeatable. (Nog was a favorite in their first fight.) It has been a full 4 years since their last fight, and Nogs seen many wars since. He came in to the Mir fight in the worst shape I’ve ever seen him in. This is why you shouldn’t rely on MMA math to bolster your positions.

    I remember before Affliction 1, and the fighter in question was Tim Sylvia, there was an equal number of people here saying that Sylvia was going to win then, also.

    Fedor is the absolute best MMA has to offer, and in my opinion, the best Mixed Martial Artist in the history of MMA.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Robert says:

    Ian, I couldn’t have said it better myself.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Erik says:

    Andrei just hasn’t been the same since Sylvia beat him at UFC 59.

    As for the comments by Greg Fedor vs Nog.. Fedor basically pummeled Nog for 3 rounds each time they fought.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • marko says:

    I totally agree,

    Fedor is the best and always will be.

    you talk about Mir putting a beating on Nog, don’t forget Fedor has technically never lost, Mir got ko’d by chums like Ian Freeman, Marcio Cruz and Brandon Vera, which I don’t think any of them are top 10? or even 20/

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  • HulkSmash says:

    Go CRO-COP

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Stratas says:

    For all you Brock Lesnar haters and “MMA purists”,

    Brock Lesnar is the current UFC Heavyweight Champion and at the age of 31, this 6’3″ 265lb monster is the future for the Heavyweight division in any MMA organisation. He is a a four-time All-American, two-time Big Ten Champion and NCAA heavyweight wrestling champion.

    His wrestling creditentials are on par with any heavyweight out there, including the Hall of Famer whom Lesnar decisively defeated at UFC 91 Randy Couture. Even the “best pound for pound fighter in the world” Fedor Emelianenko has taken notice of the “Next Big Thing”, deciding to issue the champ with a challenge at the expense of Captain America.

    Yet Lesnar receives an unjust amount of criticism and why? Simply put, because he came from the WWE. With his impressive win over Couture, Lesnar proved to the world that he deserved to be not only in the UFC but after only his 4th pro MMA fight, he deserved to be in the main event fighting for the biggest prize in the heavyweight division, period!

    Pro wrestling might not be “real” but those athletes and especially the likes of Brock Lesnar and Bobby Lashley are the real deal. A younger and healthier Kurt Angle (Olympic Gold Medalist in wrestling and training partner of Mark Coleman)would also be competitive in either the heavyweight or light heavyweight division.

    In addition these “fake fighters” from the world of professional wrestling are huge draw cards for any organisation they compete in, whether it be in the MMA world or WWE / TNA worlds. Just look at the buyrates for the 3 events that Brock Lesnar has been a part of. Lesnar’s 2.2 million buys over three fights made him the most-watched PPV fighter in 2008. His total was the second highest total in UFC history, trailing only Tito Ortiz, who did 2.25 million in headlining three events in 2006.

    And yes, I am a fan of pro wrestling but I am a fan of MMA as well. But unlike the “purists” out there, I prefer to concentrate on the actual talent of the fighters and whether or not they can go in the octagon or ring. I couldn’t care less about whether or not they came from an “entertainment” background, nor should any other fan. Brock Lesnar is good for the world of MMA, very good in fact. He has brought new fans to the sport and he will carry his fair share of the success of the UFC on his broad shoulders for years to come.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Mr.PIBB says:

    Stratas: Nobody on this post has said one word about Brock Lesnar.So ,judging by your love for Lesnar and professional wrestlers, I would say that you either are his agent or his love child.Either way, his nuts need to be removed from your chin.I am not denying the guys talent or his credentials, but Jesus Christ man, he has accomplished nothing as far as an mma career outside of beating Couture.Even you have to admit that Lesnar, being 1-1in the UFC, hardly deserved a shot at the title when he got it.Dana White saw dollar signs as soon as Couture returned and he booked a freakshow instead of a deserving contender for Couture’s return.Good on him for winning but I need to see more before I start showering him with praise.For now, the UFC has its cash cow and the teet will get milked.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Stratas says:

    Mr Pibb; since we’re talking about heavyweights here, I thought it appropriate to share my thoughts on Brock Lesnar and the overall heavyweight landscape.

    Is Brock Lesnar a major draw for the UFC, hell yeah he is and why? Because even after only 4 fights in his MMA career there is not a heavyweight in the world, and that includes Fedor, Arlovski and yes Frank Mir that Brock Lesnar could not defeat today.

    That’s why he got his shot at the title and that’s why he is the biggest PPV draw of 2008 and most probably 2009!

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • ctownhood says:

    Why does everyone think Fedor fights chumps? Here’s a laundry list of people he has beat:
    Heath Herring
    Renato Sobral
    Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (2X)
    Kazuyuki Fujita
    Mark Coleman (2X)
    Kevin Randleman
    Cro Cop (when he was actually good)
    Mark Hunt
    Matt Lindland
    Tim Sylvia

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Abdullah the Butcher says:

    Geez Louise it doesnt take much to bait suckers into flame wars.

    This was about Arlovski being wanted back in the UFC. Do you really think White is being altruistic wanting AA back into the fold?

    What motivates the dude? MONEY With the dearth of credible heavyweights, White will have a hard time maximizing his return on Lesnar with B quality heavyweights.

    Good for AA for sticking his ground and at least trying to pursue his dreams.

    I am soooo lookng forward to his fight with Fedor in a few weeks.That is something the UFC would love to have but would never admit to.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • G-DUB says:

    Arlovski/Fedor is just a HUGE fight …. unfortunately it is under the wrong promotion and thus will not be seen (live) by a quarter as many fans as would have seen it under the UFC banner. I’ve got the under on +/- 150K buys.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Mr.PIBB says:

    Stratas; If you seriously think that Lesnar, after only four fights,is good enough to beat Fedor, AA or Mir,then you are insane.He barely lasted 90 seconds against Mir be fore he was subbed. So what in the world makes you think that he would even stand half a chance in a fight w/Fedor?Fedor would Tim Sylvia his ass! It would be sick! You better hope your boy makes it out of the first round in his rematch with Mir.

    “That’s why he got his shot at the title and that’s why he is the biggest PPV draw of 2008 and most probably 2009!”

    No,no,no,my friend, He got his shot at the title BECAUSE of his drawing power.NOT because he earned it.Just watch Lesnar vs Herring and then watch Fedor vs Herring and you’ll understand.

    Congrats to Lesnar for being champ of the second best competition in the world. High five!!!!

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • mike wolfe says:

    Who cares about Fedor’s upcoming fight? Seriously. Compare the ppv buys to UFC 91 or 92, and ask the question. I predict the answer will be that very few people care. Why ask the question? Because if White and UFC only care about money (UFC is a for profit enterprise, so what else should they care about?), and Fedor’s fight doesn’t generate much revenue, why would they care about Fedor? Fedor should care about the UFC, because its marketing and brand recognition could make him recognizable outside MMA. And celebrity translates into money, which is why we have professional fighters.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • kazja says:

    ufc has only B-Level Heavyweights. And the only reason the UFC is on top is with the help from their corrupt NSAC/CSAC friends.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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