Editor’s Note: Content from this article appears courtesy of CBSSports.com.
The UFC has dominated the MMA world for the past decade. During that time period, only one person has gone to another organization that they really wanted to keep.
“In nine years, there’s only one fighter that I’ve lost that I didn’t want to lose,” said UFC President Dana White. “That was (Andrei) Arlovski, and it still bothers me.”
White tried very hard to keep Arlovski in the UFC.
“I jumped on a plane and flew to Chicago with Lorenzo (Fertitta) and kissed his butt to try to make him not leave,” said White.
Money was not the main issue with the former heavyweight champion. Arlovski wanted to expand into other entertainment areas.
“He wanted to box on HBO. He had a lot of different things that he wanted to do that I couldn’t let him do.”
After becoming a free agent, Arlovski signed with Affliction Entertainment. He defeated both Ben Rothwell and Roy Nelson since signing on. Now, Arlovski is set to face one of the top heavyweights in the world in Fedor Emelianenko in the coming weeks.
“That will be a very interesting fight,” said White.
While White admits to having tried to sign Emelianenko to a very large monetary deal in the past, White does not want to proclaim Arlovski’s opponent the top heavyweight in the world.
“I’ll never say that Fedor is the best until he jumps in there and fights the best on a consistent basis.”