UFC president Dana White never got the chance to sign Fedor Emelianenko and square the enigmatic Russian off against Brock Lesnar, but if he did, White believes Lesnar would have got his hand raised and won the fight.
Speaking to GQ last month, a ‘very biased’ White revealed his pick for the heavyweight super-fight that never was, claiming Emelianenko refused to sign with the UFC despite being offered ‘an ungodly amount of money’.
“Obviously I’m very biased when answering this question, but I’m going with Brock Lesnar,” White said (h/t MMA News). “Brock wanted the fight. I tried to make the fight. We offered Fedor Emeilianenko an ungodly amount of money, and they didn’t want the fight. I don’t know what to tell you.”
Emelianenko is one of the greatest fighters never to have signed with the UFC and is considered by many to be one of, if not the, greatest heavyweights of all time. The former PRIDE champion went on a ten-year unbeaten streak and defeated several former UFC champions, including Andrei Arlovski and Tim Sylvia, before being submitted by Fabricio Werdum in 2010. He is expected to retire in 2023.
By contrast, Lesnar took the UFC by storm after signing with the premiere fight promotion in 2008, losing his debut to Frank Mir but later avenging that loss and going on to capture the heavyweight title with a TKO win over Randy Couture at UFC 91. He defended his title twice before being knocked out by Cain Velasquez at UFC 121. He later retired in 2016 after his decision win over Mark Hunt was overturned to a No Contest (NC) following a positive test for clomiphene.
Lesnar is currently signed to WWE. He recently lost to Roman Reigns in a Last Man Standing match at SummerSlam.