White: Fedor vs. Brock Lesnar almost happened last year

Sunday, January 27, 2013

UFC President Dana White on Saturday said the promotion was close to getting a deal done for a heavyweight megafight between Fedor Emelianenko and Brock Lesnar, a fight that fell apart following the death of Emelianenko’s father.

The fight, White said, would have been targeted for Cowboys Stadium in Dallas.

The news comes as a bit of a surprise given the UFC’s rocky history with trying to negotiate a deal with the legendary Russian heavyweight. The UFC couldn’t come to terms with him several years ago, and he then signed with Strikeforce. But with that promotion, he lost three straight fights before rebounding with three wins and retiring in 2012.

“We were in deep talks with him,” White said following the post-fight news conference for UFC on FOX 6 in Chicago. “We were that close to signing him recently. Right before his dad died. We were right there. When I was talking about doing the big Dallas Texas stadium show? It was going to be Brock Lesnar vs. (Fedor).

“Remember when I met with him and said it didn’t go well? It actually went well. It went well, and Brock wanted to fight Fedor. Then (Fedor’s) dad died, and he was done.”

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