FiveOuncesOfPain.com received an official statement issued by M-1 Vice President Jerry Millen regarding the promotion’s reaction to Brock Lesnar’s victory over Randy Couture this past weekend at UFC 91.
For over a year now, Couture and WAMMA heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko’s names have been intertwined. In light of Couture’s loss, that potential dream match has lost a great deal of luster. However, with its statement, M-1 claims that it will welcome an opportunity for Fedor to face Lesnar.
Below is the statement, reprinted in its entirety:
M-1 would like to congratulate Brock Lesnar on his UFC heavyweight title victory as well as acknowledge Randy Couture’s return to active competition after a layoff that lasted over a year.
Couture and WAMMA heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko had publicly acknowledged a desire to fight each other multiple times over the course of the past year. While M-1 and Fedor remain interested in a match against Couture, we would also like to publicly state for the record that we would welcome a superfight between Fedor and Lesnar that would be held as a co-promoted event between the UFC, M-1, and Affliction Entertainment.
We’ve invited the media to speak with us today to not only make it clear we would welcome a Fedor vs. Lesnar matchup, but to act in a preemptive fashion to address the possibility that UFC officials will try and position Lesnar as the number one heavyweight in the world, much like they have tried to use a marketing ploy to brand Anderson Silfva as the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world.
In the past, UFC president Dana White and Zuffa, LLC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta have tried to claim that Fedor was “overrated” and that his “record was irrelevant.” They make these claims in spite of the fact that Fedor holds career victories over UFC champions past and present. While we have tremendous respect for the contributions Mr. Fertitta and Dana have made to this sport, we do not believe they are sincere in their statements.
It is the position of M-1 that the UFC has adopted an anti-Fedor policy because multiple attempts to sign him have not been fruitful. For a company that has tried to market itself as the number one promotion in the world, they are unable to accept the fact that the number one fighter in the world does not reside on its roster of contracted fighters.
We believe that the UFC has determined that it’s much more inexpensive for them to use their marketing resources to use smoke and mirrors to brand a fighter as the pound-for-pound best as opposed to actually paying the pound-for-pound best what he is truly worth on the open market.
While Brock Lesnar is an accomplished athlete and a talented fighter, we do not consider him to be the number one heavyweight in the world. Until someone beats him, we strongly believe that Fedor should continue to be recognized as the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. In a match between Fedor and Lesnar, we do not feel that at this stage Lesnar would be able to make it out of the first round.
For those who feel our statements in regards to Fedor are self-serving, we’d like to refer you to a video interview on the website RawVegas.tv in which at his UFC 91 after-party Couture himself acknowledges that “Fedor would probably tear Brock up at this point.”
— Jerry Millen, M-1 Vice President