Thursday, March 13, 2008


This story seems to be on repeat month to month in the world of mma. Yet again, Fedor Emelianenko is officially a free agent. Dana White and the Ultimate Fighting Championship have the chance to right a wrong and sign the greatest heavyweight in mma history. Could we see Randy Couture vs. Fedor Emelianenko this year in UFC? Here we go again.

The Couture-Fedor match is more possible today than it was a week ago. Dana White and Fedor’s management have had a public war of words for almost a year. Dana had the chance to sign Fedor several times, yet could not close the deal. Fedor has fought twice since UFC bought PRIDE FC and recently signed a deal with M-1 Global Affiliation. After one fight for M-1, the company is about to go under and Fedor will once again be a free agent.

Dana White needs to make this happen now more than ever. Letting Fedor get away was Dana’s biggest mistake. The agreement between CBS and Elite XC gives UFC some legitimate competition. CBS will air Elite XC fights live on their network. The deal could put Elite XC on more televisions than UFC could ever dream of with Spike or pay-per-view.

Dana White needs to put his ego aside and sign the man that could make the ultimate mma dream match a reality. The dream match in mma has been Couture vs. Emelianenko for some time now. Once UFC couldn’t sign Emelianenko, Couture quit UFC and planned to sit out his contract until he can fight Emelianenko somewhere else. For Couture, it is just as much about time as it is money. Couture can’t wait out this match like Quinton Jackson and Chuck Liddell or Liddell and Wanderlei Silva did. He needs this match made now or within a year.

For UFC, they have no more excuses for not signing Emelianenko. UFC has the money. After they couldn’t sign Emelianenko, UFC signed Brock Lesnar for a seven-figure contract. The only problem is that without Couture, there are no dream matches for Lesnar. Lesnar is going to have to draw on his own. If Lesnar goes 0-2, the freak show has less appeal and the investment in a bomb.

What money matches does UFC have left? None of their golden boys have titles. Two of their golden boys are on the verge of retirement. Tito Ortiz is out after his next fight unless he signs a new deal. Unless Anderson Silva and Georges St. Pierre change weight classes to fight each other, UFC has nothing on the horizon for 2008. Signing one guy could change everything for UFC.

It is put up or shut up for Dana White. Dana White has to get this deal done. UFC is the hot hand right now, but what do they have for 2009? The future looks like a few great fighters with no serious challengers in line for title shots. The only dream matches that are possible are re-matches, which are tainted with losses in between them. Until UFC signs Fedor Emelianenko, Dana White cannot claim that UFC has the best fighters in the world.
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