Sports

UFC Almost Signed Brock Lesnar Vs. Fedor Emelianenko

Brock vs. Fedor is the MMA dream fight that appears to never go away. Long after both men have retired from the sport, stories continue to swirl about a fight. According to Dana White the UFC almost pulled it off last summer.

Dana White told the story over the weekend at a UFC on FOX 6 press conference. The UFC president revealed that the fight was not only almost signed last year, but that a venue had even been picked out. According to White, it was the Last Emperor who put the final nail in the coffin of this fight and the career of the biggest draw in UFC history.

“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.'”

Dave Meltzer expanded on the story via his podcast on the F4WOnline.com website. Meltzer explained that the fight was broached to Lesnar last July. According to Meltzer Lesnar was offered a ton of money, agreed to the fight, and the UFC were planning on booking Texas Stadium to hold the heavyweight showdown. Meltzer said that negotiations with Fedor were underway when Fedor’s father died in August and Fedor told the UFC at that point that he was staying retired. Once Lesnar found out that Fedor was staying retired, he had no interest in fighting again.

It’s an interesting story on so many levels. One big one is Brock’s WWE contract. Remember, Brock had only wrestled one match by this point. The Extreme Rules buyrate was considered somewhat disappointing and there was real doubt that the WWE would be interested in bringing Lesnar back. Maybe Lesnar and the WWE would have just walked away at this point? I can’t understand how Brock could negotiate for a fight while under a WWE deal. Surely the WWE would not let him leave, enter a camp, and take a fight while under contract. It was the SummerSlam buyrate that reportedly renewed Vince McMahon’s interest in keeping Brock around and that number wouldn’t have come for another two months.

I also think that Brock must have been very confident that he could beat Fedor. It has been reported that Brock will never fight again due to his health. If that’s the case, Brock must have felt that he could have beaten Fedor even at half speed. The other viewpoint and probably more likely is that Brock knew he was done, saw a humongous pay day for a last fight, and figured he had nothing to lose by taking the payoff on the way out.

As for the fight I really don’t even think it would have been that good. You’d have a guy in there at far less than 100% looking to cash out before retiring for good from the UFC against another guy that also has very little gain to at that point in his career. I don’t see Brock standing around for a strike-fest, while at the same time I don’t know how much gas he’d have to take down Fedor and hold him down long enough to finish. At this point it is probably just better off left to the imagination.

Finally, it goes to show you that most of what Dana has said about Fedor over the last several years has been sour grapes. Here the guy is retired and you are calling him up and begging to take a fight. At the same time the guy you have called a phony for years is all of the sudden good enough to sell out Texas Stadium? You have to love Dana White.

So it would appear that this fight was close to happening and is off the books…for now. Maybe it’s just me but it is also a bit ironic that the UFC would spend this much time pulling off a super fight with two guys that aren’t even in the company as opposed to getting the mega fights done with the guys under contract.
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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric’s work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University’s Fox School of Business.

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