White prepared to call M-1 Global's bluff of free Lesnar vs. Emelianenko bout
by John Morgan on Nov 28, 2009 at 12:00 pm ET
Earlier this month, M-1 Global exec Jerry Millen made waves by claiming Fedor Emelianenko would be willing to fight Brock Lesnar for free.
UFC president Dana White recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio
) that he's prepared to call Millen's bluff.
"They'll do the fight for free?" White asked. "That's [expletive] weird because I offered them millions of dollars to take the fight and he didn't take it. Now [Emelianenko] wants to fight for free? When and where? I'd love him to fight for free.
"I'll make that [expletive] fight right now for free. Let's do it."
Fight fans have long clamored for Emelianenko to appear in the octagon, but contentious negotiations between White and the former PRIDE champion's representatives at M-1 Global have prevented "The Last Emperor" from joining the UFC.
White said he sees great irony in a camp offering to fight for free when they once demanded a 50-percent share of the UFC's business.
"That's funny that they say they'll do it for free now when they were dealing with us and negotiating with us they wanted 50 percent of our business," White said. "They wanted 50 percent of our business to do that fight, but now they'll do it for free?"
White had a bit of extra venom for Millen.
"[Millen] is a [expletive] clown that talks out of his ass and has no business (discussing the negotiations)," White said. "That guy is a nobody. When we did the big Fedor negotiations, you think he was in it? He wasn't even in it. That guy's full of [expletive]. Tell him to go frost his [expletive] hair again and beat it.
"You don't think I want to make that fight? Of course I want to make that fight. But it takes two people to make a deal, not one guy."
White has often referred to Emelianenko's handlers as "crazy Russians" when it comes to addressing their negotiating tactics. But this time, the UFC exec utilized a different depiction.
"We offered [Emelianenko] lots of money – so much money that it caused lots of [expletive] with our other fighters," White said. "That's how much money we offered him. And guess what he said. 'No, we want 50 percent of your business.' That's some Russian strong-arm [expletive]. They can get away with that [expletive] out in Russia to the baker that works down the street. They're not coming to America and doing that.
"If Fedor wants to fight the best in the world, he can call right now. We can [expletive] cut a deal right this second, and we can do it."
Of course, prior to any Emelianenko vs. Lesnar contest – free or otherwise – the UFC champ will have to nurse himself back to fighting shape. White remained relatively tight-lipped about Lesnar's exact condition but did insist he would do everything possible to assist in the heavyweight's recovery.
"[Lesnar] had minor surgery," White said. "He's kicking back, healing up, seeing how he feels. No matter what, we're sending him down to the Mayo Clinic to get checked out by the best doctors in the world. From there, we'll see what happens.
"He's still very much in limbo, and we don't know. All I really care about is that the guys healthy and can come back."
White also said he was amazed that it took such a tragic situation for fans to realize what Lesnar brings to the table.
"It's funny because it takes something like this for the fans to appreciate Brock Lesnar," White said. "Whether you love him or you hate him, when you sit around and go, 'Holy [expletive, he might never fight again,' that sucks. You don't want that to happen.
"I just think he brings so much to the sport, especially to a heavyweight division that has been dead for so long."