In a recent interview with Vadim Finkelstein at championat.com, Fedor Emelianenko's manager has some choice things to say about UFC president Dana White. It starts out with him explaining that the only fight they were willing to take at DREAM was the fight they took against Satoshi Ishii and transitions into taking some shots at the UFC and Dana.
From the interview (transcribed on The Underground by judom):
- There is information that Fedor will get 500,000$ for the Ishii fight. This is a solid sum considering the financial problems DREAM has experienced lately.
The sum 500,000$ is incorrect. This is all nonsense. At this moment, for us, the key thing is the level of the opponent, and not how much we get paid. I can say that if we were unable to agree with Ishii, we wouldn't participate in this tournament. We had concurrent offers with other DREAM fighters, but this is not for Fedor's level, and we didn't want to have a fight with mediocre fighters, taking a step backwards. We want to be taking steps forward and we will follow this in the future.
- So, these steps forward, likely implies that next year will be rich in events. What will that be for Fedor ?
We want to have 3 fights. One in Russia, one in Europe, and one in the USA. We really want to get a rematch with Werdum, but he is locked up in the prison called UFC, and because of that arranging for him to fight Fedor would be very difficult.
Dana White is like a dog on hay -- he neither eats it himself, nor lets the others eat it. There are many other good fighters, whom we are considering. For instance, Josh Barnett. We need to wait for the StrikeForce HW's tournament to end and then we can see how likely it is that we can arrange a fight.
This is just the reality of having a heavyweight without a Zuffa contract. Ishii is about as good of an option as there is for Fedor. The only top 25 heavyweights who aren't currently signed to the UFC or Strikeforce are Fedor and Cole Konrad, and Bellator isn't letting Konrad fight anyone but other Bellator fighters any time soon.
With the Strikeforce heavyweight division being eliminated it may free up someone decent but I don't see Zuffa just dumping a high level heavyweight fighter.