Fedor vs Brock LesnarDespite years of negotiations gone wrong, the UFC was close to signing former PRIDE champion Fedor Emelianenko to fight Brock Lesnar less than a year ago before the Russian champion ultimately decided to retire from fighting.

UFC president Dana White dropped the bombshell following the UFC on Fox 6 press conference when speaking to members of the media about the company’s possibly move into Russia later this year.

At UFC 146 in May 2012, former heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar attended the event and met with White in a meeting he called at the time “one of the worst meetings we’ve ever had with Brock Lesnar.” In reality, White’s chat with the former champion went extremely well because, despite saying he was retiring from mixed martial arts just five months earlier, Lesnar was ready to sign on for a superfight against Fedor Emelianenko.

“We were right there. When I was talking about doing that big Dallas Texas Stadium show it was going to be Brock Lesnar vs. (Fedor Emelianenko),” White revealed on Saturday.

“Remember when I met with him and said it didn’t go well? It actually went well. He wanted to fight Fedor. (Fedor’s dad passed away) and he said, ‘I’m done. I want to spend the rest of my life with my family.’”

Following a three-fight losing streak in Strikeforce that ended in 2011, Fedor returned by fighting twice for M-1 Global and at a New Year’s Eve show in Japan, picking up three consecutive victories to get him back on track.

It was after his June 2012 fight against former UFC heavyweight contender Pedro Rizzo that Fedor decided to retire from the sport of MMA and spend more time at home with his family. White says it was actually the death of his father that led to his retirement and increased his desire to focus on his family instead of fighting.

During the long process to try and get a deal done, UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta traveled to Russia and met with Fedor to try and negotiate a fight with Lesnar. The two parties came very close to a deal, but then when Emelianenko’s father passed away, he ultimately passed on the fight.

That eventually led to Lesnar opting to stay retired and focused on his career in professional wrestling in the WWE.

“We were negotiating for months and then after his dad died and he said ‘that’s it, I’m done’ or whatever, and then Brock said ‘I’m done, too,’” said White.

If pro sports has taught us anything, it’s that an athlete’s desire to compete doesn’t just go away because they say they’re retired. Still, White’s pretty sure Fedor was serious about calling it a career, and he’s fine with that, but you can still never say never.

“From what I understand, he has absolutely, positively made the decision never to fight again. But, I mean, anything’s possible,” said White.

As for former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar, once the dream of facing Fedor fizzled, so did his desire to give fighting one more try. He’s now content with his professional wrestling gig, and much like the Russian legend, Lesnar is fine spending plenty of time at home with his wife and kids.

“He’s done,” White said about Lesnar. “He’s gonna do his stint in WWE and then go away. He’s got a big farm up and Canada and (expletive). He loves to farm, he loves to be with his family, and out in the middle of nowhere.”

Be sure to Like MMAWeekly.com on Facebook and Follow @MMAWeeklycom on Twitter.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

UFC free-fight: Watch Cain Velasquez demolish & dethrone Brock Lesnar at UFC 121

  • 9 days ago
  • 3 views

To promote UFC heavyweight champ Cain Velasquez's return at UFC 188 against interim champ Fabricio Werdum, the UFC has released the full UFC 121 bout between Velasquez and then-champ Brock Lesnar. Re read news >>

Dana White: Brock Lesnar was never close to re-signing with UFC

  • 17 days ago
  • 1 views

This time, it wasn't "right there." The way things were unfolding in the Brock Lesnar sweepstakes, a lot of folks in the mixed martial arts (MMA) world -- as well as the pro wrestling universe -- wer read news >>

Brock Lesnar Never Close to UFC Return Ahead of WWE Renewal, Says Dana White

  • 17 days ago
  • 8 views

UFC President Dana White has confirmed the organisation never came close to re-signing WWE superstar Brock Lesnar. The South Dakota native revealed his decision to carry on professional wrestling dur read news >>

Dana White reveals, the UFC was 'not very close at all' to signing Brock Lesnar again

  • 17 days ago
  • 1 views

For weeks, we believed a Brock Lesnar UFC comeback was closer than ever. But obviously, it never was. Brock Lesnar will most likely never step foot into the Octagon again. Last month, the polarizing read news >>

Dana White: UFC was ‘not very close at all’ to re-signing Brock Lesnar

  • 18 days ago
  • 10 views

Former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar closed the book for good on his mixed martial arts career last month, announcing that an eleventh-hour offer from WWE owner Vince McMahon was enough to co read news >>

Bobby Lashley vs. James Thompson Added to ‘Bellator 138: Unfinished Business’ Fight Card

  • 21 days ago
  • 1 views

Bobby Lashley will try to avenge a 2012 split decision loss to James Thompson when the two rematch on June 19 at Bellator 138: Unfinished Business. read news >>

Mike Swick Returns to the Octagon For The First Time Since 2012 at UFC 189 Against Alex Garcia

  • 27 days ago
  • 0 views

Mike “Quick” Swick (15-5) will return to action for the first time since December 2012 on July 11 at UFC 189 against Alex Garcia (12-2). read news >>

Quick Swick Returns at UFC 189

  • 28 days ago
  • 0 views

Back in action for the first time since December of 2012, longtime middleweight and welterweight standout Mike "Quick" Swick will return to the Octagon on Saturday, July 11, to face Alex "The... read news >>

Brock Lesnar Gets a ‘Suplex City, B*tch’ Remix You’ll Probably Put on Loop for a While

  • 28 days ago
  • 20 views

This Brock Lesnar-inspired music video named "Suplex City, B*tch" is all kinds of awesome. read news >>