Legendary former Pride FC heavyweight champion Fedor “The Last Emperor” Emelianenko is standing firm to his retirement plans despite fans everywhere holding out hope that the Russian superstar will still make his way to the UFC Octagon.
Regardless of his retirement, Emelianenko is still staying active, and recently appeared in a WHOA! TV interview to discuss his thoughts on several topics related to MMA, both current and past. He spoke up to clarify that he is indeed done with fighting competitively:
“That’s it. I’m done. I keep training but not as intense as I did before.”
It’s unfortunate that we never got to see “The Last Emperor” take on the best heavyweights in the UFC, because now we are left wondering what could have been. And while Dana White constantly makes it seem like Emelianenko’s management was the culprit in this whole ordeal, ultimately it seems like Fedor was simply rubbed the wrong way by White’s way of doing business:
"In my opinion, everything was in Dana White's hands. Because at that moment, I just felt like this guy, he just hates us. Like, personally to [me]. There were insults coming from Dana White all the time. There were many very loud things said, but for real nothing happened."
That’s about as emotional and informative as you’ll see from Emelianenko, who sheds some interesting light on the subject of his failed signing to the UFC. It’s been widely thought that Fedor’s management team of M-1 Global caused the holdup in contract talks due to outlandish demands that included a cross-promotional deal with the UFC, something that would never happen.
However, Emelianenko thought that White hated him, and obviously wasn’t pleased with the loud back-and-forth posturing that took place. Perhaps White went about securing Fedor in the very wrong way. Perhaps it was an instance of two sides trying to make power plays that resulted in them just butting heads while accomplishing nothing.
We’ll never know the whole truth. Too bad “The Last Emperor” will never reign over the best mixed martial arts talent the Octagon had to offer.