... or at least that's what the Russian legend's management team is saying.
There's a certain song and dance to any negotiation and Fedor Emelianenko is shimmying to the beat of the UFC's drum. That's because he doesn't exactly have a lot of leverage anymore and it's entirely possible the world's largest fight promotion is no longer interested in his services.
In fact, UFC President Dana White expressly stated recently that he has "zero interest" in signing "The Last Emperor" to a deal. Bitter or not, he's the big dog making the decisions.
Then again, Lorenzo Fertitta has told fans on his Twitter account that he would be willing to wheel and deal with Fedor and his people as long as co-promotion wasn't on the table. And considering the state of the game, that may very well be the case.
For their part, Fedor's management team is holding firm in their belief their fighter will make his way to the Octagon, as long as the conditions are right.
"You need to know Dana," Vadim Finkelstein told Gazeta.ru (translated by LowKick.com). "If he says he has no interest in signing Fedor, then in fact, he really wants to. He says one thing, and doing another. How can you not want a fighter who can bring millions? Any fight with Fedor could break all the rating records in the UFC."
Emelianenko (33-4), who once tore through the ranks of Japan's mixed martial arts (MMA) scene like a rampaging Godzilla, seemed undersized and overmatched during his foray into stateside competition.
Despite a couple of first-round laughers against former UFC heavyweight titleholders Tim Sylvia and Andrei Arlovski, who both succumbed to the wily Russian within the opening frame of their respective Affliction bouts, the Combat Sambo Champion was nearly greased by ex-mechanic Brett Rogers in his Strikeforce debut.
While he eventually secured the second round knockout win, his following three bouts would not only shatter his mystique, they damn-near sent him into retirement, with a brutal knockout loss to part-time middleweight Dan Henderson as the straw that broke the Soviet's back.
He's been able to get back into the win column in recent months, but most of the hoopla behind his abilities -- and the desire to see him compete amongst the UFC elite -- has long since dissipated.
Or has it? Is there any chance in hell we ever see him mixing it up under the UFC banner? Or is he simply a victim of M-1 propaganda?