UFC president Dana White took a shot at Fedor Emelianenko who just had his last outing. White doesn’t think that the MMA legend is the GOAT that many consider him to be.
Fedor Emelianenko is regarded as one of the best heavyweight athletes of all time. The 46-year-old Russian was undefeated for 10 years, from 2001 to 2010. He also defeated most of his opponents via finishes and became world champion in various MMA promotions including as PRIDE and Bellator MMA.
However, Emelianenko never stepped foot inside UFC’s octagon. He and his management team had several back-and-forth negotiations with the UFC.
Even Dana White was a big fan and yearned for Emelianenko to sign an exclusive contract with the UFC. But, the negotiation fell apart and Emelianenko never joined the UFC. They have had a contentious relationship over the years with Emelianenko going so far as to say that White doesn’t care about people.
Jerry Millen, Emelianenko’s US manager, even filmed the infamous June White interview about Dana White’s bad behavior.
Emelianenko just ended his professional career. He headlined Bellator 290 against Bellator heavyweight champion Ryan Bader, where Emelianenko lost via first-round knockout. After the main event, they celebrated his retirement with Emelianenko putting his gloves in the cage.
Meanwhile, during UFC Vegas 68 press conference, Dana White was asked whether he had any regrets that Emelianenko never joined the UFC.
“No. I don’t dislike Fedor or anything like that. But that didn’t happen. We gave him a shot. Can’t say we didn’t try. It is what it is.” White said.
White then asked about his opinion on Fedor Emelianenko’s legacy and doesn’t think that he is one of the greatest because he never competed against world-class athletes like in the UFC.
“I don’t wanna s**t on the guy. You know, he’s retiring tonight and all that stuff. I mean, you guys know the old interviews with me. I mean, he got knocked out by middleweight Dan Henderson.”
“You know what I mean? I think some of the guys in the business [and] people liked him. So, they praised him. He never got to test himself over here. But I never was one of the guys that thought he was one of the greatest of all time.” White explained
Ezra Samuel is a passionate freelance writer with a particular love for covering MMA news. His interest in the sport dates back to his college days, and he has since established himself as a respected voice in the MMA community. Over the years, Ezra has contributed his writing to a variety of digital outlets, including the popular site calfkicker.