The Fight That Almost Was: Brock Lesnar vs. Fedor Emelianenko at Cowboys Stadium in 2012


  • Share on Tumblr
  • submit to reddit

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 >>

Related News

  • 5 days ago
  • 83 views

With the line between athlete and entertainer becoming more blurred each year, Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson finds himself working alongside some of MMA's biggest stars. Having filmed Fast & Furious 6 with Gina Carano and Fast & Furious 7 with UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey, who better to pick a would-be matchup between the two than Johnson? "Come on, man, you can't ask me that," Johnson told UFC.com. "That's like asking me, "Hey, Rock, which side of your handsome face do you like be more

  • 23 days ago
  • 70 views

It's the fight nobody's talking about from UFC 175, but that's what happens when you share a pay-per-view (PPV) event with Chris Weidman, Lyoto Machida, and Ronda Rousey (and a broken toe). Nevertheless, Russell Doane did what he had to do against Marcus Brimage last Sat. night (July 5, 2014) by capturing a split decision win to open the "Weidman vs. Machida" pay-per-view (PPV) broadcast from inside Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. See how the Hawaiian claimed victory in the vide more

  • 15 days ago
  • 29 views

The fight card is nearly full for September’s Legacy FC 35 event, which features a headlining title fight.Filed under: AXS TV Fights, News more

  • 11 days ago
  • 57 views

A look at the August 30th PPV that features a rematch between bantamweight champ T.J. Dillashaw and Renan Barao in Sacramento, CA. UFC 177 tickets go on sale tomorrow, and the meat of the PPV main card has already been figured out. Bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw, who was given little chance to beat Renan Barao at UFC 173, destroyed Barao in one of the biggest upsets in UFC history. Barao was knocked out in the 5th round after being dropped in the first and wobbly throughout the fight, so o more

  • 10 days ago
  • 50 views

The usual mixture of TUF projects, veterans, and prizefighters getting a chance to pimp out their ethnicity for the fans in Dublin, Ireland get together for a good bit of the ole' ultraviolence. Sweet. More fights. I can't wait. McGregor vs. Brandao is gonna be sweet! Well, if by 'sweet', you mean Brandao is gonna be ripped apart and his pieces will be mailed to every favela in Brazil, then yes. Ok so the main card is filled with hilariously one-sided matchups, but what about the undercard? It's more

  • 10 days ago
  • 72 views

The Ultimate Fighting Championship wants to pit middleweight champion Chris Weidman vs. Vitor Belfort in Brazil, but the Nevada Athletic Commission has to first okay the bout. more

  • 8 days ago
  • 68 views

So, you missed UFC Fight Night Dublin: McGregor vs. Brando? Well shame on you! But fear not, Fraser Coffeen from Bloody Elbow is here to tell you what you missed and what fights you need to see. We all know the complaints of UFC oversaturation at this point, which makes a mid-day card available exclusively on Fight Pass live from Dublin, Ireland and featuring not a huge degree of star power seem pretty easy to skip. If you did indeed do something else with your Saturday and skipped the Fight Nig more

  • 5 days ago
  • 0 views

Chris Olech- "The Last Emperor" Fedor Emelianenko, arguably the best fighter in the history of MMA will be making a monumental trip to Canada for a week filled with seminars, autograph signings and feasts with fans. Fedor Emelianenko known for his Sambo skills, Judoka throws and devastating power hooks is revered by his fans for his sportsmanship outside of the cage and devastation inside. more

  • 4 days ago
  • 6 views

They'll do the deed on Sept. 13, 2014 inside Nilson Nelson Gymnasium in Brasilia. Johnny Bedford will get a second chance to finish Rani Yahya -- the legal way -- after their unfortunate "no contest" on the Fight Pass "Prelims" of the UFC Fight Night 39 mixed martial arts (MMA) event, which took place earlier this year inside Du Arena on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. A "Brutal" headbutt brought an end to their bantamweight bangfest overseas. Following the bout, Bedford (19-11, 1 NC) apologized for hi more