Joe Silva: The only place where the best fighters fight the best all the time is UFC

via cdn1.sbnation.com

In a rare appearance today at the UFC 133 pre-fight press conference, UFC matchmaker Joe Silva jumped in the discussion as it pertains to Fedor Emelianenko and his place in MMA history.

And he's singing the same tune Tito Ortiz was earlier this week. 

While not directly calling out Fedor -- Dana White did enough of that for the both of them -- Silva defended the position that there is only one place the very best in the world can consistently fight top competition and that's the UFC.

Here's what he said:

"The one statement I'll make is we're not saying there's not good fighters other places. What we're saying is, the only place where the best fighters fight the best all the time is UFC. That's what we're saying. There's talented fighters... A lot of people come in the UFC from somewhere else. But they're going to fight their toughest competition here. We were talking about with (Yoshihiro) Akiyama, how great his record was; he hasn't done as well (here). He's having great fights, he's a great fighter but it's a tougher road in the UFC. There's no gimme fights."

Had Emelianenko spent even part of his career plying his trade inside the Octagon would there be less resistance to calling him one of the best ever?

Maybe. Maybe not. But the fact that "The Last Emperor" went an underwhelming 1-3 in Strikeforce certainly doesn't help his case and it gives entirely too much ammunition to his detractors.

More from White, including video of Silva's speech, after the jump:

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