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Randy/Fedor: Still A UFC Possibility?

According to ESPN The Magazine, Fedor Emelianenko is in the process of separating from M-1, and his people are open to re-opening negotiations with The UFC:

With Couture embroiled in a nasty legal dispute with the UFC and Emelianenko tied to M-1 Global's MMA franchise, the heavyweight dream matchup has long seemed to be the world's best bout that would never happen.

Now it could. Apy Echteld, one of Emelianenko's agents, confirmed what a source close to the situation previously told The Magazine: M-1 Global and Emelianenko will part ways some time in the next week, making the Russian a free agent. Divorce negotiations are ongoing right now, with a formal announcement likely for in the next few days. "Officially, yes, Fedor will be a free agent," Echteld says.

Of course, the UFC would have to be willing to re-open negotiations with Emelianenko's management. Previous talks dragged on for almost a year before falling apart amid plenty of name-calling and finger-pointing from both sides. UFC president Dana White was vocal in pinning the blame on Emelianenko's team, saying he never once spoke or met with the fighter. Would the head of the UFC be willing to enter the Fedor fray again? "Absolutely, 100 percent, in a heartbeat," says White. "People think he's the best--I don't, not even close. But if it's somehow possible, I would make it happen."

No use getting too excited yet, but this would be the best outcome possible. Maybe the sides can finally make this damn thing work for all the fans.

Update [2008-3-6 19:30:57 by Kid Nate]:

Of course, Dana can't help himself and has to throw in this remark:

"I like Randy, I genuinely like to think he's a good guy," White says. "As much as we've gone back and forth on this, I would sign Fedor and do everything possible to get Randy in the octagon with him. I'd do anything, because a., it's a great fight and b., I think Randy would smash Fedor."
I'm sure that's really going to make Fedor feel welcome and eager to sign on with the UFC.

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