In wake of MMA's biggest event, the UFC is conspicuously missing something and one of the U.S.'s largest circulation magazines hones in on it:
Just as the sport's premier league, the Ultimate Fighting Championship, prepares to stage its milestone UFC 100 event in Las Vegas this Saturday — which is expected to attract more than 1 million pay-per-view purchases — the top fighter in the world has no plans to participate. Instead of slugging it out in Sin City, Fedor Emelianenko, 32, will be training in a small Russian mining town 385 miles south of Moscow, preparing for an Aug. 1 pay-per-view fight in Anaheim, Calif., against former UFC champion Josh Barnett.
Comparing the UFC without Fedor as the NFL without Peyton Manning, the article mentions why Fedor is not with the UFC and why this is a detriment to their product. To buttress their argument, they asked famed-boxing trainer Freddie Roach on why he thought Fedor was the best:
"He's so calm. He sees things happening. If you make a mistake, he'll knock you out. That's the mark of a great fighter."
The article goes on to hightlight the long-stemming animosity between Dana White and Fedor, including a quote from Dana that displays how much of a gulf separates the two parties:
"Let me put it to you this way. I've done fight contracts with all the best fighters in the world," he said, working his way to the knockout blow. "With big huge superstars — Brock Lesnar, Chuck Liddell, the list goes on and on. Who the f___ is Fedor? Are you serious? The guys who fight for me have a chance to make a lot more money fighting with me than with anybody else. If he signed with us, he'd find his place in history, find out if he really is the best heavyweight in the world. It's all semantics. It's all bulls___."
The article goes on to mention that contrary to White's claims, the issue is not only about money. It talks of Fedor's desire to compete in Sambo and the unfortunate terms of the UFC's contracts.
While the article contains some inaccuracies, it's an important article as it shows that this story is getting traction (side note: it has made the front page of popular social networking news website Digg). It's a wonder if further articles of this nature may lead the parties coming together or if it will only help widen the divide.
The article can be found at: http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1909703,00.html?xid=rss-topstories