Sure, some prize fighters says it's not all about the money, but when it comes to Fedor Emelianenko, that may very well be the honest truth.
Especially if Alexey Oleinik's recent comments are to be taken to heart. According to the Russian bruiser, Fedor was offered a lot more money by Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) to fight inside the Octagon when compared to Rizin FF, the upstart promotion Emelianenko recently put pen to paper with.
As Alexey told Sports Express (via Bloody Elbow), UFC was willing to not only match Rizin's offer, but give the former PRIDE FC heavyweight champ an added $100,000 on top of that.
"This is the first time I heard the name Maldonado. His is a name nobody knows. I then suggested that he has three defeats in his last four fights. He was fired from the UFC for being unfit...Emelianenko said he was ready for any opponent, including UFC champion Werdum. He said he was open to all suggestions, but he was not satisfied with the terms. I talked with the leaders of the UFC, and was told that Fedor was offered excellent conditions. Any fee that Rizin FF offered, UFC was ready to increase by a hundred thousand dollars."
Not many would turn down that kind of extra cheese.
But according to recent comments made by Fedor to sovsports.ru (via Bloody Elbow), his team is currently in negotiations to sign with UFC. And to hear the heavyweight tell it, the chances of him fighting inside the Octagon in the near future are very high.
"We are continuing to negotiate with the UFC. We did not put a cross on the organization. The probability is very high [that I will fight there]."
The revelation comes a few months after Fedor expressed his desire to rematch current UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum inside the Octagon. Which begs the question:
Why didn't he simply ink a deal with the ZUFFA-owned promotion from the jump?
Nevertheless, "The Last Emperor" was more keen on reuniting with his former PRIDE FC employer Nobuyuki Sakikabara to lead the charge in hopes of resurrecting MMA in Japan. Fedor will next face UFC castaway Fabio Maldonado on June 17, 2016 in what will mark his sophomore effort for the promotion.
And on the heels of Conor McGregor's abrupt retirement, the promotion has that much more money left over to lure "The Last Emperor" into the eight-sided cage once and for all.
I hear UFC 200 needs a new headliner.