Dana White: UFC Was Close to Fedor Emelianenko vs. Brock Lesnar in Dallas

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Dana White: UFC Was Close to Fedor Emelianenko vs. Brock Lesnar in Dallas
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

If you’re a fan of mixed martial arts, you’ve probably heard the horror stories regarding the attempted negotiations between the UFC, Fedor Emelianenko and M1.

If you haven’t, they sound like some kind of fantasy novel where UFC president Dana White has to jet off to Skull Island or somewhere like that to try and get Emelianenko to sign on the dotted line to join the UFC, all to no avail.

What you never heard, at least until Saturday night that is, was White say that Fedor was pretty much ready to join the UFC to fight Brock Lesnar at Dallas Stadium.

You read that correctly—Fedor Emelianenko and Brock Lesnar at Dallas Stadium. Even better was that White made the comment like it was no big thing, like everyone at the post-UFC on Fox 6 media scrum had heard the story before.

We hadn’t.

The lead-in to the tale was White discussing the possibility of the UFC putting on a live event in Russia. When asked if Fedor would be involved in that card, White replied, “He’s not going to fight, I told you guys that story already, we were in deep talks with him, we were that close. Right before his dad died.” 

After the media confirmed that none of us had ever heard this tale before, White continued, “When we were talking about doing that big Dallas Stadium show, it was going to be Brock Lesnar vs. Fedor.”

Upon further prodding, White revealed that he had not exactly told the truth when he said a meeting with Lesnar had not gone well:

"Remember that time I meant with him (Lesnar) and said it didn’t go well? It actually went well. It went well and he wanted to fight Fedor and then Fedor’s dad died and he (Emelianenko) said, 'I’m done, I want to spend the rest of my life with my family.' We were negotiating for months and then Brock said he was done (after hearing Emelianenko was out)."

As for going back and seeing if Emelianenko would be interested in getting back in the fight game, White said he wasn’t going to chase him, or any fighter, who expressed the desire to retire, and that includes Lesnar.

So, there you have it, the first UFC fight that was considered for Dallas Stadium was Lesnar vs. Emelianenko. Crazy.

***All quotes obtained firsthand by Bleacher Report MMA.

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