Fedor Emelianenko has disclosed that he was actually offered a contract with the UFC, but chose to sign with Bellator on account of ‘matters of promotion.’
The MMA legend is among the best fighters of the sport to have not stepped foot inside the UFC’s octagon so when he came out of retirement in 2015, some fight fans were hopeful he would eventually join the company’s ranks.
But, the former Pride and FIAS world champion has now rationalized he failed to accept the terms of the contract the UFC and Dana White presented him prior to his Bellator debut against Matt Mitrione.
“Yes, this alternative was there,” Fedor told Lenta.ru.
“I was offered a (contract) from UFC, but it did not go well with me. We experienced disagreements, particularly about matters of promotion,” he added.
The UFC have attempted in the past to sign ‘The Last Emperor,’ however, their advances have frequently been batted away as a result of conflicts over pay-per-view cuts, sponsorship constraints, and promotional restraints.
Those elements appear to have been the reason that explains why once again the UFC failed to sign the legend.
Emelianenko ultimately signed with Bellator and will confront UFC legend Mitrione in February which makes it a clash that is certain to capture the imagination of MMA fans worldwide.
The 40-year-old claimed it was the Bellator boss Scott Coker who persuaded him UFC’s closest rival was the company for him.
“We had been working out deals with several organizations, but preferred Bellator, as the head of the organization, Scott Coker – a trustworthy man, honest, we already have knowledge about,” said Emelianenko.
“We were excited about his proposal,” he added.