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Zelaznik wouldn't be surprised if UFC signs Fedor

ESPN staff
July 23, 2010
Fedor Emelianenko is wanted to create a blockbuster heavyweight encounter against Brock Lesnar © Getty Images
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Marshall Zelaznik has confessed "it wouldn't surprise me" if Dana White sorted out a deal to bring Fedor Emelianenko to the UFC.

Zelaznik, the UFC UK president, does not get involved in contractual negotiations regarding fighters, but he does keep close company with White and knows how the UFC president works.

White recently stated that he had 'zero' interest in Emelianenko after the Russian lost to Fabricio Werdum - his first defeat in 12 fights. Defeat to Werdum came after 69 seconds via submission, and it put a severe dent in claims that "The Last Emperor" is the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.

Previous negotiations between the UFC and Emelianenko have all reached a dead end, with Zuffa and (Emelianenko's management team) M-1 Global failing to reach a deal. However, despite White's claims to the contrary, Zelaznik admits the UFC can never turn their back on the world's top fighters.

"Any time that there's a fighter that fans want to see, you can bet that Dana will do what he can to bring them to the UFC," Zelaznik told ESPN.co.uk.

"Up until now there hasn't been a possibility of it. I don't know what his contract situation is, but these things don't come down to money. Yes defeat to Fabricio Werdum has probably lowered his stock, but I don't think we've ever decided not to sign a fighter due to money.

"You never say never, and Emelianenko is a good fighter so it wouldn't surprise me if Dana and Lorenzo [Fertitta] tried to work something out."

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