Update: Fedor to Strikeforce; UFC Responds
Emelianenko has signed a multi-fight agreement that will see
the world’s No. 1-ranked heavyweight compete for Strikeforce, the
promotion announced Monday.
Emelianenko, who became a free agent after Affliction Entertainment
canceled its Aug. 1 event two weeks ago, will make his debut on
Showtime under a co-promoted Strikeforce/M-1 Global production this
fall. Emelianenko was to have faced Josh Barnett at
Affliction “Trilogy” on Aug. 1, but Barnett failed a pre-fight test
for an anabolic steroid and was refused licensure by the California
State Athletic Commission.
"Strikeforce is a top fight promotion that houses some of the
greatest fighters in the world," said Emelianenko in a press
release. "I am prepared to fight any of them."
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker told Sherdog.com last week that he
plans to match the stoic Russian against the likes of Brett Rogers,
Werdum and the promotion’s heavyweight champion, Alistair
“I feel pretty confident that we could give him four or five
opponents that would make sense for him,” Coker told Sherdog.com in
exclusive video interview.
Emelianenko, along with his promoters and management team at M-1
Global, had negotiated with the UFC last week, but could not come
to an agreement over co-promotion.
"Fedor is a f---ing joke," UFC President Dana White responded
Monday after learning that Emelianenko had signed with Strikeforce.
“He turns down a huge deal and the opportunity to face the best in
the world to fight nobodies for no money!"
White also addressed fans: "I feel sorry for the real fight fans. I
wanted to make the deal, but it takes two and it is very obvious
Fedor doesn't want to fight the best, and doesn't give a sh-t about
This article was updated at 3:52 p.m. EST and 7:35 p.m. EST with
quotes from Dana White that the UFC's PR Director Jennifer Wenk
sent directly to Sherdog.com.
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