UFC President Dana White Names His Biggest Matchmaking Regret
Dana White has revealed that failing to book the mega-fight between Brock Lesnar vs. Fedor Emelianenko is his biggest UFC matchmaking regret.
The UFC president has booked plenty of fights in his career, but one omission stands out in the form of Lesnar vs. Emelianenko.
He was deep into negotiations with Emelianenko's team about matching him up with Lesnar, but he was unable to agree terms with the Russian fighter who lost his father amid talks which temporarily halted his career.
"The only fight that I wanted to make that was never made was Brock Lesnar vs Fedor Emelianenko," White said when asked what fight he wished he could have booked. "We were going to do it at Texas Stadium. But I couldn't get a deal done with Fedor, so it never happened."
In 2013, White explained how the promotion failed to sign Emelianenko.
"We were in deep talks with (Emelianenko)," he said. "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 Emelianenko).
"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."
Emelianenko eventually returned to the sport and later inked a deal with Bellator MMA in 2017.
He last fought on December 29 where he stopped 'Rampage' Jackson in the first round at Bellator & Rizin: Japan.
Fedor with the walk-off KO! #BellatorJapan pic.twitter.com/Wg6Ge4gEgu
- Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) December 29, 2019
Lesnar, on the other hand, fought just once after talks dwindled with Emelianenko. He beat Mark Hunt at UFC 200 with the result overturned to a no-contest after he tested positive for clomiphene.