Dana Talks Biggest UFC Matchmaking Regret
In the 19 years since Dana White assumed control of the UFC, the promotion has booked some of the biggest fights and biggest fighters in the history of the sport.
Heading into 2020, ESPN asked Dana White what was the one fight that he regrets not putting pen to paper on.
“The only fight that I wanted to make that was never made was Brock Lesnar vs. Fedor Emelianenko,” White said told the Worldwide Leader. “We were going to do it at [Cowboys/AT&T] Stadium. But I couldn’t get a deal done with Fedor, so it never happened.”
White admitted that negotiations were happening between Fedor and the UFC back in 2013, but there were a myriad of problems that came during the talks, including M1-Global wanting to co-promote any fights the the former PRIDE champion appeared on.
“We were in deep talks with (Emelianenko),” White said in January 2013. “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.”
Once negotiations between both sides fizzled, Lesnar entered into his first MMA retirement and signed to return to the WWE in 2012, while Fedor ended up working with M1 Global and then Bellator where he still fights.