UFC President Dana White has talked often about giving the people what they want and creating the most exciting fights possible.
If there’s a big fight out there, he once said, he’ll do his best to try and make it happen.
He proved that when he set up the BJ Penn-Georges St. Pierre fight that would become one of the most anticipated in UFC history. He proved it again when he put Brock Lesnar up against Randy Couture for the heavyweight title despite Lesnar’s lack of experience (he only had one UFC win at the time).
Now, White might have another personal quest to undertake as he looks for a suitable opponent for his new superstar (and the most hated man in the UFC). Lesnar needs a worthy challenger for his next fight to cash in on his enormous pay-per-view potential.
A campaign to chant “Fedor! Fedor!” at UFC 100 to get the message across to White that the UFC needed to sign the heavyweight legend soon . It didn’t quite materialize the way fans had hoped, but the plan illustrated just how much anticipation there is among hardcore fans to see the famed Russian heavyweight legend Fedor Emelianenko in the Octagon for the first time.
Dana White knew the question was coming, and he was ready for it as he basically announced that Fedor vs. Lesnar would happen at some point in time in the UFC.
Of course, there are some obstacles to the fight. The UFC has said they’ve offered more money than anyone to Fedor, but their contracts are notoriously restricting for fighters as opposed to other organizations such as DREAM and Strikeforce. They give their fighters the freedom to move back and forth in order to find fights that are in their best interest.
Fedor could retire today and be perhaps the greatest mixed martial artist of all-time, but you have to believe that part of him as a competitor is dying to test himself against the much bigger Lesnar. He must first defeat Josh Barnett this August at Affliction: Trilogy, but he is a fairly big favorite already.
If Fedor could take down Lesnar, who would likely outweigh him by about 50 pounds on fight night, it would be the ultimate triumph of technique and skill over athletic ability and strength; the kind of victory Fedor is well-known for as evidence by his win over Korean giant Hong Man Choi and other freakishly large fighters in Japanese promotions.
Lesnar is much more talented than a guy like Choi, however, and Fedor would have a tough, tough fight on his hands with Lesnar. Lesnar has a lot of flaws in his game but he has shown that it can be almost impossible to defend against his ability to take down people and smother them from the top while land ground-and-pound shots.
On the other hand, Fedor is one of the best fighters in MMA at pulling submissions off his back. Lots of people said that about Frank Mir, however, although Mir doesn’t have anywhere near Fedor’s overall skill level.
Fedor fought a couple of similar-sized wrestlers in their primes over in PRIDE in Mark Coleman and Kevin Randleman. So he does have some experience taking on fighters similar to Lesnar.
Who would be the betting favorite for a Fedor vs. Lesnar UFC fight? That’s a tough one to call since Lesnar is so well-known, but Fedor’s overall stature and gaudy win-loss record of 30-1 (with the one loss questionable at best) would probably give him the nod as the favorite. Let’s all hope for the sake of UFC fans everywhere that it happens as soon as possible.