In 2009, the UFC was perhaps at the peak of its popularity and Brock Lesnar was the league’s heavyweight champion. Lesnar had left his wrestling career behind to join the UFC and quickly became one of the biggest draws on any given UFC card. Lesnar’s huge physical size combined with his freakish athleticism grabbed the attention of even the casual MMA fan.
However, the UFC was not the only MMA circuit that rose to popularity during the 2000s. Other circuits such as Strike Force, M1, and Pride had become popular among MMA fans as well.
One of the greatest fighters over the last ten years outside of the UFC was Russia’s Fedor Emelianenko. Fedor had dominated MMA for most of his career as a heavyweight and was considered to be one of the best fighters of all time by many; he had not lost an MMA bout for almost a decade as the first decade of the 21st century neared a close.
Matching up the UFC’s heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar with an MMA legend in Fedor for a super bout would surely be a huge draw. Though Fedor had been struggling somewhat at the time — losing three straight matches at one point — he managed to rebound and win his last three bouts. With Lesnar on top of the UFC at the time, it seemed a great opportunity for the two fighters to meet in the octagon.
Fedor, while a very accomplished fighter in many MMA circuits, had never competed in the UFC. As it became more obvious that Fedor was approaching the end of his career, the time seemed right for this much-anticipated match-up to take place.
More recently, UFC president Dana White has spoken of negotiations that he had with Fedor regarding this fight with Lesnar. White says that the UFC offered Fedor a huge sum of money to meet Lesnar in a super fight. The fight was to have taken place in Dallas at Texas Stadium and was expected to be one of the largest pay per view draws in UFC history. Brock Lesnar was reported to want this match extremely badly and the stage seemed set for it to happen.
Unfortunately, Dana White and the UFC could not persuade Fedor to take the fight as he instead opted to retire from MMA altogether. Soon after Fedor had turned down the match, Brock Lesnar also decided to retire from the UFC. Lesnar seemingly lost the desire to compete at a high level once the fight with Fedor was no longer on the table.
Lesnar then made a return to wrestling in the WWE, where he is now under contract. There has been some speculation regarding Lesnar returning to the UFC. However, as he is currently under contract to the WWE, this seems very unlikely. It appears that MMA fans will only be able to continue the debate as to what the results of the one time possible super fight would have been.