Now that we know former PRIDE FC heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko is going to be fighting on New Year's Eve -- on a card co-promoted by Spike TV -- Bellator MMA fighters are coming out of the woodwork in an attempt to get first crack at the recently un-retired legend.
That includes Phil Davis.
"Mr. Wonderful," who won the promotion's light heavyweight tournament on the same night Emelianenko announced his return to Japan, told Submission Radio that it's just not the kind of fight you turn down, simply because "The Last Emperor" is to mixed martial arts (MMA) what Michael Jordan is to basketball.
"Man, I'd have to (fight Fedor). It's like, how could I not? He's a legend in the sport. It's one thing if you lose to Joe Schmo. But if you lose to Michael Jordan, people go, 'you know what? You did good against Mike,' you know? There's competing, and that's like a fight that anybody gets up for, you get super excited for. Is he the best Fedor we've ever seen? Who knows? I would lean against no. But at the same time, I wouldn't count that man out of nothing. And the reason why he didn't go in (to the UFC), or the reason why he is where he is, is entirely business. Here's a guy who doesn't feel the need to quote, unquote 'prove' himself against whomever someone else says, 'you need to prove yourself against this guy.' He has not recently taken that pay cut to quote, unquote 'fight the best guys.'"
Davis (15-3, 1 NC) knows a thing or two about shrewd business practices. After Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) failed to make him a "Wonderful" offer at the negotiating table, the former NCAA Division-1 national wrestling champ bolted for Bellator MMA.
Less competition, more money, just like Fedor.