It has finally happened. The UFC has announced that it has finally signed Fedor Emelianenko to a contract to compete inside the Octagon. UFC President Dana White announced the signing today via Twitter:
I never thought I'd say this in my life...We signed Fedor
The idea of Emelianenko signing with the UFC has been teased for the past couple years. Dana White claims that he offered the Russian fighter a contract that would pay him more than any fighter in the history of the UFC. Emelianenko's management team refused the offer as the UFC was still unwilling to copromote the M-1 Global brand in Fedor's bouts inside the UFC.
With Zuffa's acquisition of the Strikeforce organization, it looked like finally Fedor would compete under the Zuffa banner, but after losing three consecutive fights for the organization he would leave Strikeforce.
The UFC is not in the habit of signing athletes on losing streaks, but Emelianenko has won twice since leaving Strikeforce and at the end of the day, there was value in brining him to the UFC.
"I've said a lot of mean things, Vadim has said his share of mean things, but at the end of the day it's about business and putting together great fights", said UFC President Dana White when asked for a comment.
It's unsure at this time when Emelianenko will debut in the UFC.