When it comes to heavyweight MMA fighters, there’s no one bigger than PRIDE legend Fedor Emelianenko. Now, in a statement about the UFC, the Russian sports hero explains why he never signed with the world’s largest MMA promotion.
When PRIDE FC went out of business and got bought by the UFC, Fedor Emelianenko was their biggest and most dominant star. His legendary status captured a generation of fight fan’s hearts, and his dominance was not soon matched.
Even to this day, the UFC’s most successful heavyweight champion has only defended the belt twice. However, Emelianenko’s run spanned the course of 10 years, and he was dominant.
Fedor would choose to not sign with the UFC, and after several years of failed negotiations it was made clear that he never would.
In a statement to the Russian Media, Emelianenko explained why the UFC was never right for him.
Stating, ‘They often ask me this, like, will I fight UFC champion and so on… I’m not ready to fight under the contract conditions UFC offers me. This is an oppressive, one-sided contract. I’m not ready to sign an enslaving contract. A promotion must show a positive attitude and respect towards fighters. The kind of respect I get in Japan.’
Fedor is still active today, and will face off with former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir in Bellator’s upcoming heavyweight tournament.