UFC was trying to ruin Fedor’s legacy, claims manager

Fedor Emelianenko and current Bellator heavyweight champion Ryan Bader were announced as the main event of Bellator 290.

The event will take place on February 4, 2023, at the Kia Forum in Inglewood, California. This will be Emelienko’s farewell bout, as confirmed by his manager.

Emelianenko is one of the rare MMA Greats that never made it to the UFC. He was lucky to not have a contract with Pride at the time Pride was sold to UFC. Pride Vice president Jerry Millen went on to manage Emelianenko’s career in the US, and took part in some of the negotiations UFC famously had with him.

Fedor Emelienko’s manager  gave an explosive interview and accused the UFC planning to ruin his legacy. He spoke about how Fedor distrusts the company and how his matchup with Brock Lesnar fell through.

Millen gave an interview saying:

“When UFC bought Pride, they wanted to destroy its prestige, so that everything looked like UFC was the king of everything. But in fact, at that time, they were not.”

They wanted their biggest star Brock Lesnar, to overshadow Fedor and all the other Pride athletes.

“In my opinion, they wanted Fedor’s legacy to be destroyed. They said, the Pride fighters were nothing, Brock Lesnar is the number one in the world.”

Millen said that the UFC were desperate to sign Fedor and they offered a lot of money. However, he is a man of principles and he’s never respected Dana White.

“UFC and Dana kept throwing more and more money, but Fedor has moral principles. He did not only in money, Fedor rejected the offer of UFC because he did not believe in Dana White as a businessman, or I believe as a person.

Millen said that he also recommended the legend to stay away from the MMA giants. He told him that his “legacy is much more important and more than UFC.”

“Fedor could have made a lot more money there [in the UFC], a lot more, but he didn’t sell his principles.”

Fedor has previously spoken against Dana and shared that:

“Money means everything to him [Dana], he has no respect towards fighters, no respect for any human being.” He also called the UFC’s contract offer “draconian and oppressive,”.

Millen added that “Dana White wanted to smear all the fighters in Pride, because he had no doubt that UFC was bigger than Pride ever was.

He said that Dana just wanted Fedor so that he could have him beat and prove the UFC’s superiority over Pride.

“He wanted to get Fedor not to glorify him, but to win against him. After that, he could have said, you see, the Pride fighters are not that great.”

Millen said that Fedor competed in “Affliction,” and “Strikeforce” for smaller sums of money than what the UFC had offered him.

Millen also briefly talked about Fedor competing against the UFC’s top box-office attraction, Brock Lesnar.

The bout was closest to happening when they negotiated on the Island of Curacao. But he said that it never came to fruition thanks to Dana White’s attitude, calling him “the main problem.

While Emelianenko seems resolute in his decision to give up MMA, his manager left the space open for a Jake Paul boxing bout to the dismay of MMA fans worldwide.