Fedor Emelianenko: I became a thorn in UFC’s side; WAMMA Heavyweight Title will be on the line against Werdum

Speaking to M-1 Global’s mixfight.ru, MMA icon Fedor Emelianenko declared that he became ‘a thorn on UFC’s side’, blaming Dana White’s promotion for the lack of respect towards their fighters. Despite having some harsh words, “The Last Emperor” revealed that the negotiations with The Ultimate Fighting Championship are still in process, under the patronage of M-1 boss Vadim Finkelstein.

Here is a translation of Fedor’s interview, speaking about the UFC:

What do you think about Alistair Overeem’s victory over Brett Rogers?
I did not see that fight, like the whole Strikeforce’s May tournament. I have several fighters who interest me, and I am following their fights during the year.

… and who are these fighters?
Randy Couture interests me, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Shogun Rua. I also like UFC’s young fighters Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos… I think they are a very talented guys.

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But all these fighters compete in the UFC, a promotion we have already lost our hope to see you fighting for. Vadim Finkelstein stated a couple of days ago that if you signed a contract with the UFC a couple of years ago, you would not exist as a sportsman today. Do you feel that it could’ve really happened to you?

I don’t think so. UFC is a money making machine. The most important thing for this organization is a brand and it’s marketing. They have a couple of good fighters and there are also some very good champions; but they are trying to keep everyone at the same level. The most important thing for them is the promotion, not the fighters. I think that they lack a respect for their fighters. As for me, I became a thorn in their side.

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We are constantly negotiating, but only during recent time the Americans began to show some respect. The dialogue between us is completely different right now. They are more interested in our opinion.

The dialogue with the UFC will continue?

All I can say is that Vadim Finkelstein is doing well in handling the situation.

Meanwhile, M-1 Global Director of Operations Evgeni Kogan revealed to Ariel Helwani‘s MMA Hour that Fedor’s WAMMA Heavyweight title will be on the line against Werdum, despite Strikeforce declaring that it will be a non-title contest. The fight against Vai Cavalo Fabricio Werdum will take place this Saturday, at the HP Pavilion Center in San Jose, California. Fedor Emelianenko is currently 31-1 in his Mixed Martial Arts career, competing since the year 2000.

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HT: MixFight.ru