Dana White Describes First-Ever Face-to-Face Meeting With Fedor Emelianenko
Arguably the biggest heavyweight MMA fight in recent memory takes place this Saturday night at UFC 121 between Brock Lesnar and Cain Velasquez.
But just because the UFC's heavyweight division continues to evolve doesn't mean Dana White still doesn't get asked on a daily basis why he has been unable to sign Fedor Emelianenko.
At a recent fan question-and-answer session, White talked about meeting the former PRIDE heavyweight champion (he didn't specify when) for the first time face-to-face.
"I jumped on a plane and flew to some crazy island out in the middle of nowhere that, believe me, I did not want to go, sat down in a room with these guys and tried to hammer out a deal. It was a very, very respectful deal. Believe me when I tell you I tried to make this happen, and they know I did. They know I tried to make this fight happen and they didn't take it. It was insane that they did not take this deal.
"So what am I going to do, you know what I mean? I know I always look like the bad guy, like, 'Oh, he's trying to lock up this ...," I have to run a business, but believe me when I tell ya, he had a damn good offer.
"He was there. It was the first time he and I had ever met face-to-face, and he we sat down, we hammered back and forth in this room for hours.
Emelianenko currently has one fight left on his Strikeforce. There's no question that his bargaining power weakened a bit after his loss to Fabricio Werdum in June, but something tells me fans would still love to see him fight at least once inside the UFC Octagon.
The major road block in the past has always been M-1 Global, the promotional company Emelianenko owns a piece of and fights for, and the UFC coming to terms on some kind of co-promotion deal. And while White said "we got over all that" in regards to the co-promotion issue, he insinuated that at the end of the day he just doesn't think M-1 wants to see "The Last Emperor" fight in the UFC.
"It takes two to make a deal. These guys didn't want to make a deal."