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

Fedor Emelianenko Dishes on Latest Round of Failed UFC Negotiations

  • 12 days ago
  • 107 views

"How would Fedor Emelianenko do in the UFC?" It's a question that has lingered for over a decade, and while fans won't get an answer anytime soon, they have a chance to see the Last Emperor face a so read news >>

Ex-WWE star, Bellator's Bobby Lashley wants Fedor Emelianenko, sees no shot of Brock Lesnar fight

  • 2 days ago
  • 8 views

Bobby Lashley will get back in the cage at Bellator 179 in May. It just won’t be against the man he wants to face most.Filed under: Bellator, Featured Videos, News, Videos read news >>

Chael Sonnen says he was ready, offered to step in vs. Fedor Emelianenko at last minute

  • a day ago
  • 11 views

Were we close to seeing Chael Sonnen vs. Fedor Emelianenko at Bellator 172?Filed under: Bellator, Featured Videos, News, Videos read news >>

Fedor Intends to End His Career with Bellator | MMAWeekly.com

  • 11 days ago
  • 23 views

Former Pride champion Fedor Emelianenko doesn't appear likely to ever set foot in the Octagon. He wants to finish his career in the Bellator cage. read news >>

Donald Trump's Favorite Fighter Is Fedor Emelianenko … When He's Winning | FIGHTLAND

  • 11 days ago
  • 6 views

Photo by Michael Reynolds/EPA Just in time for the much-hyped arrival of Fedor Emelianenko in Bellator this Saturday night the Russian MMA legend’s former manager and business partner Vadim Finkelste read news >>

Brock Lesnar Informs UFC of Retirement from MMA, Removed from Drug Testing Pool

  • 11 days ago
  • 4 views

Brock Lesnar's mixed martial arts career appears to be over. A UFC spokesperson on Tuesday told MMA Fighting's Marc Raimondi the former UFC heavyweight champion informed the company of his retirement read news >>

Brock Lesnar Retires from UFC, Exits Drug-Testing Pool | MMAWeekly.com

  • 11 days ago
  • 13 views

Brock Lesnar has retired from the UFC, effectively removing himself from the USADA drug testing pool. read news >>

Ex-heavyweight champ Brock Lesnar notifies UFC of MMA retirement

  • 11 days ago
  • 3 views

Former heavyweight champ informed UFC on Tuesday that he's officially retiring from competition. read news >>

Ex-heavyweight champ Brock Lesnar notifies UFC of MMA retirement

  • 11 days ago
  • 6 views

Brock Lesnar, a former UFC heavyweight champion and current WWE star, informed the UFC that he is retiring from MMA, a UFC official told MMAjunkie tonight.Filed under: Featured, News, UFC read news >>

Brock Lesnar Has Officially Retired From MMA | FIGHTLAND

  • 10 days ago
  • 1 views

Photo by Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports With little fanfare, nor a public comment from the man himself, the UFC confirmed Brock Lesnar has officially notified the promotion of his retirement from M read news >>