... And that makes it very difficult to match him up when most of the talented heavyweights are locked up in a Las Vegas "prison."
That's according to M-1 Global President Vadim Finkelchtein, who blasted the stranglehold of Ultimate Fighting Championship, one that made a sought after rematch against Fabricio Werdum "very difficult" and could impede plans to have a future fight opposite Josh Barnett.
"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. We want to have three 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 heavyweight tournament to end and then we can see how likely it is that we can arrange a fight."
Could the Affliction: "Trilogy" main event be resurrected in 2012?
"The Last Emperor," who slammed the brakes on a three-fight losing streak with a unanimous decision victory over Jeff Monson last month in Moscow, Russia, will compete for the fourth time this calendar year by taking on Olympic Judo gold medalist Satoshi Ishii on DREAM's upcoming New Year's Eve fight card on Dec. 31, 2011, at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
Well, Finker and Co. don't want him taking "a step backwards" against mediocre competition. But can Emelianenko be considered above mediocre, based on his recent performances?
Or is the jury still out until after the Ishii fight?