Iconic former Pride FC heavyweight champion and Grand Prix victor, Fedor ‘The Last Emperor’ Emelianenko has once more provided his thoughts on UFC president, Dana White, describing the promotional leader as “revolting” and claiming he only cares about money, as well as pointing out a lack of respect for competitors.
Emelianenko, recognized widely as one of the greatest mixed martial artists of all time, is slated to headline Bellator 269 this weekend at the VTB Arena in Moscow, Russia in his country homecoming and the Scott Coker-led promotion’s first venture to Russia.
The 45-year-old is set to take main event status at the event, taking on recent interim heavyweight title challenger, Timothy Johnson — in a bout which has been billed as possibly Emelianenko’s final as a professional mixed martial artist.
The storied Rubizhne native has competed under the banners of Rings, Pride FC, Affliction, Strikeforce, M-1 Global, Rizin, Fight Nights Global, and Bellator MMA to name a few. However, he has never strapped on a pair of UFC gloves.
Emelianenko had been linked with a heavyweight title unification bout with then UFC champion, Randy Couture following the promotion’s acquisition of Pride FC. However, White claimed Emelianenko’s manager, Vadim Finkelchtein was proving a stumbling block to completing a deal, while Finkelchtein claimed negotiations with the UFC were proving difficult.
The bout failed to come to fruition, with Emelianenko ultimately never signing a deal to link up with the UFC, instead, penning a deal with the aforenoted, M-1 Global in late 2007. The promotion would attempt to sign Emelianenko on multiple occasions throughout the early 2010s, to no avail.
Speaking with Russian outlet, TASS ahead of his bout with Johnson this weekend, Emelianenko touched on the topic of White during his interview, and it appears he holds a somewhat frosty opinion of the promotional leader.
“Money means everything to him,” Emelianenko said of White. “He has no respect towards fighters, no respect for any human being. Only money and that’s all.“
“There is nothing humane about him and I found that quite revolting,” Emelianenko continued. “Money, of course, is important for living and for the family. But trading human relations for money is unacceptable.“
Over the course of his decorated professional career, which dates back to 2000, Emelianenko has laid waste to the likes of Ricardo Arona, Semmy Schilt, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Gary Goodridge, Mark Coleman, Kevin Randleman, Mirko Cro Cop, Mark Hunt, Matt Lindland, Tim Sylvia, Andrei Arlovski, Frank Mir, Chael Sonnen, and Quinton Jackson to name a few.
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