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Dana White takes a shot at ‘overrated’ Fedor Emelianenko for still fighting at 45 years old

The UFC president reacted to a quote from Bellator heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko calling him ‘revolting’ and only interested in money.

UFC 267: Jingliang v Chimaev Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Dana White and Fedor Emelianenko are not friends.

Anyone paying attention for the last 15 years knows this. For more than one full decade, White downplayed Fedor’s accomplishments in the sport and status as Heavyweight G.O.A.T. He bought out and shut down numerous promotions Emelianeko competed in, while declaring Fedor was too scared to compete in UFC. And while Fedor is normally a respectful man of few words, the words he recently used to describe Dana White included ‘revolting.’ Damn.

“A very unfavorable impression,” Fedor told Russian outlet TASS when asked what he thought of White. “Money means everything to him, he has no respect towards fighters, no respect for any human being. Only money and that’s all. There is nothing humane about him and I found that quite revolting. Money, of course, is important for living and for the family. But trading human relations for money is unacceptable.”

At the UFC 267 press conference, White responded to that quote and Fedor’s impressive win over Tim Johnson at Bellator’s recent Moscow event. Well, impressive to everyone but Dana.

“Should I not see him as overrated because he knocked out Tim Johnson?” White asked. “I don’t think one way or another about it.”

“I saw last week or a couple of weeks ago where Fedor said, you know, ‘This guy’s all about money.’” he added. “First of all, I don’t even know Fedor. Fedor doesn’t know me. We met one time. His statement was I was all about money? He should have been more about money when we made you that offer wherever the f—k we were, whatever island that was we were on. And you wouldn’t still be fighting at 45 years old.”

“Do you know I offered him a deal that he must still lay in bed everything and bum out about?” White continued. “We offered him a deal. We tried to do a deal with Fedor. Apparently Fedor doesn’t like me. So I don’t see [Fedor in the UFC] happening.”

White is referring there to a 2009 offer made on an island off the coast of Venezuela to try and bring Fedor Emelianenko into the fold for a “super” fight against then-champ Brock Lesnar. The offer, according to leaks from the UFC side, was a $30 million five-fight deal with pay-per-view (PPV) points. According to White, the deal fell apart because Fedor’s manager Vadim Finkelstein of Russian fight promotion M-1 wanted a co-promotion deal and an arena built in Russia.

“This is one of those deals [we offered Emelianenko] where it’s like, ‘This makes no f—king sense whatsoever.’” White said in 2013. “Literally, when we got onto the plane when we were flying back, we were like, ‘Thank f—king God they turned that offer down.’ We were like, ‘Thank God they turned that down.’”

At the time, Finkelstein denied the reported $30 million figure. And more recently, Fedor claimed negotiations fell apart because UFC was unwilling to sign any of his teammates. Who knows what the truth is, but here’s some straight reality: Fedor is doing just fine financially, is making solid money fighting with Bellator, and doesn’t have Dana White as his boss.

That last point is enough to guarantee he sleeps very well at night, we’re sure.


For complete UFC 267 results and coverage click here.