Dustin Green caught up with UFC President Dana White after today's UFC 133 presser (check out our StoryStream for that event for comprehensive coverage). Green and White discussed a number of topics, from what the UFC's aims are in terms of content for television in 2011 to whether or not the UFC will ever develop their own internal rankings (my take: they won't; it would give fighters significant leverage in negotiations). Most notably, White spends a good portion of the interview attempting to make the case that former PRIDE heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko's status by some as the former number one pound-for-pound fighter in MMA was misplaced. White further argues Emelianenko's ranking as the number one heavyweight in the world was exaggerated.
Personally speaking, I've long contended Emelianenko had little business atop the pound-for-pound rankings given the relative strength of schedule. But he is the most accomplished MMA heavyweight of all time, no matter his current and substantially downgraded standing. It's exceedingly difficult to make a case for any other heavyweight in MMA history achieving more. There's also some revisionist history in White's assessment of Andrei Arlovski and Tim Sylvia. Arlovski, in fact, was not released he fulfilled his contract and declined to resign with the UFC after being put on ice for about a year and fighting his last fight on the UFC undercard.
Tim Sylvia requested his release after losing to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. He had one fight remaining on his contract and left to accept the Fedor fight with Affliction.