When the MMA community was shocked by the stunning defeat of longtime number one ranked heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko, a smiley face was sent out via Dana White’s twitter. Every informed fan knew exactly what the smiley face meant; there was to be no more Fedor questions at every UFC press conference, no more debates about which promotion owns the best heavyweight in the world, and no more unavailing negotiations between “the crazy Russians”. After all, a UFC castaway had successfully dethroned the most accomplished heavyweight, not in the UFC, in less than 2 minutes. That makes him not worthy of being in the UFC octagon, right?
Yahoo! Sports’ Kevin Iole disclosed in a recent interview that before Fedor’s loss, White had major plans for the former heavyweight kingpin. Around the time Fedor was in negotiations with Strikeforce and the UFC, White had discussed with Iole about setting up a potential Lesnar vs. Fedor fight in Dallas Stadium. It would have been the UFC’s first outdoor event and most likely would have been promoted heavily. However, after Fedor’s loss, the reality of that fight happening has greatly diminished. According to Iole, White says that he is not interested in fighters who lose in Strikeforce.
Is it right for Dana White to completely dismiss Fedor? If Fedor put Lesnar in the same situation Carwin had put him in Saturday night, would Lesnar still be the undisputed champion?
Eddie Goldman had this to say:
“I also think that, had Lesnar fought Fedor, that same night Fedor would have dropped him and when they went to the ground Fedor would have submitted him one way or another, much like he submitted Tim Sylvia. Or he could have just punched him out and that’s the same Fedor who comes with a flat tire around his middle a lot and there is a question also about his cardio. And if I bothered to examine it more closely, I could come up with a list of a bunch of other people who could have defeated Brock Lesnar this past Saturday night. You think of Alistair Overeem would have done the same thing and he would have been able to submit Lesnar on the ground and I think that Fabricio Werdum would have been able to have submitted Lesnar from the bottom, just like he did with Fedor Emelianenko.”
I have to agree with Eddie here. There are several fighters outside of the UFC who, if given the same opportunity, would have had the skills to put Lesnar away. Dana should still consider giving Fedor a chance in the UFC. I know that he would have the same chance, if not a better chance, at defeating Brock than Carwin or Velasquez. One loss within the last ten years is not a legitimate reason to halt negotiations between the UFC and Fedor.
Is Dana’s ego getting in his way? For years he has been blatantly honest about his opinion of Fedor’s skill and reputation. Is he being objective about his decision to not look into signing Fedor or is his pride getting in the way? Is there a little bit of, “I told you so” involved?
Regardless of his motivation, when Fedor’s contract is up with Strikeforce, Dana will probably not enter into negotiations and the fans will lose out on exciting match ups.