After Affliction’s sudden, immediate, largely hilarious demise in the world of fight promotion (no worries, meatheads, you can still wear those silly shirts with the skulls and stuff on them), all eyes were immediately trained on human/wolverine hybrid Fedor Emelianenko.
With his stature and the seeming dearth of serious UFC competition for fellow destruction machine Brock Lesnar, it seemed like Emelianenko was a natural fit for moving to the UFC. As a matter of fact, the LOS ANGELES TIMES cited sources close to the situation in a report that Fedor would be signing with UFC by Friday.
Um, about that. Whoops.
MMAFIGHTING.COM was in on Fedor’s press conference this afternoon, and things went south in a hurry for Dana White and UFC fans:
The only official news coming out of Wednesday’s conference was that the fighter has signed to headline the upcoming EA Sports MMA videogame[…].
Yes, that would be the same EA Sports that Dana declared war upon earlier. Recall, if you will, that White threatened to blacklist anybody who signs with EA over UFC. Fedor either doesn’t think White’s serious or doesn’t think UFC’s in his future. Ever.
Past that, Emelianenko and his management declared that they were keeping options open with multiple fighting circuits, including Strikeforce and, yes, UFC. Best of luck on that front, seriously, because you’re so boned on this one, guys.
But most of all, statements during the presser indicated that Emelianenko was interested in growing MMA worldwide and being the top fighter in whatever league. On both fronts, there was a considerable lack of optimism that UFC was the best way to make that happen. Shame, really, because as long as White keeps blocking any and all co-promotion, we’re probably never going to see Emelianenko and Lesnar fight while both are in their prime. All over something as silly as money.