UFC president Dana White shocked many MMA fans when he announced Fedor “The Last Emperor” Emelianenko had been released by the Strikeforce promotion. Fedor, who is arguably the most popular heavyweight MMA fighter in the world, is currently on a three fight losing streak.
“He’s being cut, yeah,” White told reporters at a UFC 133 press conference. “Why? Do you think we should keep him? You guys thought he was the pound-for-pound best in the world, but I thought he was overrated for years.”
As a long-time fan of the sport of MMA, the way Zuffa is treating “The Last Emperor” really rubs me the wrong way. Even though Fedor has lost his last three MMA fights, Brazilian fighter Antonio Silva was the only one to beat him decisively. Fedor simply made a tactical error against Fabricio Werdum, who handed him his first loss in a ten year span. Fedor was also doing well in his bout against Dan Henderson before a well-timed switch turned the MMA fight around.
Yet, it seems like a few tough losses are all it takes to get one of the biggest names in the sport fired. White even dared to insult the legend, comparing him to Kimbo Slice.
It’s times like this that remind MMA fans to support the smaller promotions. While UFC president Dana White deserves a lot of credit for the sports’ success over the years, the Boston native can be very disrespectful to MMA fighters.
Given all Fedor has accomplished in his MMA career; you would think the folks at Zuffa would be more considerate in dealing with the Russian legend. Instead, all fans get is a nonchalant attitude from the UFC president as he jumps on another opportunity to aggrandize himself.