[Co-promotion with them] will never happen in a million years. [Strikeforce is] a minor league. Listen I have come to the realization and everyone else needs to too that Fedor (Emelianenko) doesn’t want to fight the best guys in the world. Believe me when I tell you guys I have done everything in my power, I have flown to crazy parts of the world, done all this stuff, been on the phone for hours, not hung out with my kids on weekends because I’m on the phone with these lunatics and just can’t make the deal. They don’t want to do it so we gotta get over it
- Dana White speaks to 790 the Ticket in Miami (via MMA Mania)
White is correct in that Fedor in the UFC is just something that isn't going to happen. And it certainly isn't going to happen during the short time Fedor has left near his competitive peak. This is a shame as seeing Fedor take on the best of the "new" heavyweights would be an amazing experience.
Recently there has been much talk of Fedor heading into retirement, possibly as soon as the end of his current Strikeforce contract. He has two fights left on his current deal, one of which is this Saturday's bout with Fabricio Werdum. On a recent Strikeforce media call Fedor went as far as to say that he considers retirement more and more these days.
Kid Nate of Bloody Elbow penned a piece yesterday on Emelianenko's legacy should he decide to call it quits after his Strikeforce contract is up. Nate had the following to say:
He's already gone essentially undefeated for more than a decade. He's faced, and beaten, the best fighters of his generation -- Nogueira, Cro Cop, Coleman, Arlovski, Tim Sylvia, et al. He ruled the PRIDE heavyweight division with an iron hand for the greater part of the decade, a period when PRIDE indisputably had the best heavyweights in the game.
Let's just consider his Strikeforce sojourn a victory tour for American fans. He'll have his hands full with Werdum and Overeem -- as would any heavyweight in the world -- and if he beats them, his legacy is secure.
It's hard to argue with this logic (although plenty of fans have tried) and I, for one, think it will be a very long time before we see a man dominate the absolute best of the division for a sustained period as Fedor did during his PRIDE run. He's a legend and without a doubt the greatest heavyweight in the short history of the sport.
Hopefully MMA fans can sit back and simply enjoy what may be the last few fights of a truly great fighter starting with this Saturday's clash with Werdum which will be broadcast on Showtime.