Alistair Overeem has been trying to fight Fedor Emelianenko for over a decade.
Unfortunately, Emelianenko — as well as the people charged with his career decisions — have not been overly receptive to the idea of trading bombs with “Demolition Man.” That’s why the hulking Dutchman was forced to look elsewhere after getting cut by UFC.
Emelianenko out, Verhoeven in.
“We tried to make a little bit that Fedor fight, and that was kind of radio silence on that end,” Overeem told The MMA Hour (transcribed by Farah Hannoun). “We tried to make that fight in 2010, when he fought Werdum and I fought Brett Rogers – declined. After he lost to Werdum, we tried to make that fight, he declined, and now he has declined. So that’s three declines, so I think, with all due respect, but there is no interest from that side to fight me.”
Emelianenko, who turns 45 in just a few weeks, previously passed on Overeem after suggesting “Demolition Man” was a dirty fighter. Those comments came before “The Reem” failed his UFC 146 drug test and sent promotion president Dana White into Mad Town.
“I cannot blame Fedor,” Overeem continued. “Listen, I’m getting a little bit older, myself. A little bit, not too much. He’s a little older than me, I think he’s 45 or 46, so I understand. But I have done everything I can do to make that fight happen – 10 years ago, but also now.”
There was talk of Emelianenko vs. Overeem under the Bellator MMA banner later this year; however, “The Last Emperor” instead opted for a heavyweight showdown opposite the unheralded Tim Johnson, angering this former UFC champion in the process.
Emelianenko returns to the cage on Oct. 23 in Moscow.