Dana White Explains How Hard They Tried to Sign Fedor Emelianenko

Fedor Emelianenko is probably the best fighter in MMA history to never get a crack at the UFC. In fact, he’s probably the best MMA fighter in history, or at least one of them. A lot of people are going to reflect upon his career and look at his last few losses as how to define him, but the guy was a beast. Sadly, he was a beast that was under stress and pressure from outside forces to do what they pleased and not able to make his own decisions. Earlier this week Fedor talked about why the deal with the UFC never happened, so now Dana wants to weigh in on it.

“Me and Lorenzo (Fertitta) were f–king laughing about that,” White said on Thursday.

“Yeah so I hated him. Who did I hate worse than Tito (Ortiz)? The guy lost f–king 100 fights in a row and retired in the UFC.

“We made every big fight with every fighter since we bought this company. You don’t think we wanted to do Fedor vs. Brock Lesnar? I f–king wanted to make that fight so bad.

“Brock wanted that fight. Brock wanted that fight bad,” White said.

“We had to build a f–king stadium in Russia, and we had to do all this stupid s–t, stuff that no normal f–king human being would do. And now they lay in bed every night and regret not doing that deal.

“I explained this to Fedor,” White said. “‘We’re catching a moment in time, right here, right now, where this fight between you and Brock Lesnar will be f–king massive. We’re talking Dallas, Texas Stadium. This huge fight between these two big heavyweight guys. We’re laying this massive f–king offer on the table.’ I said, ‘You’re one punch away from being worth f–king zero.’

“‘This is the f–king moment, the time. We all need to seize this moment and make this f–king happen.’

“It’s not even that I regret it,” White said. “Dude, when I tell you that we did everything — someday I’ll tell you the story of how much we offered that f–ker, too. People will f–king s–t. It made no sense. It’s one of those type of deals.

“The NFL does $9 billion in television revenue. Makes no sense for the network. The network doesn’t make a dime off the NFL, but you gotta have the NFL, right? The NFL pulls ratings like anything. This was one of those deals where it’s like, this makes no f–king sense whatsoever. And literally when we got on the plane, when we were flying back, we were like, ‘Thank f–king God they turned that offer down.’

“Maybe he was (the best in the world),” White acknowledged of Emelianenko. “Maybe he was when he was fighting in Pride. Maybe he was. I don’t know, because we never got to make some of the fights we wanted to make.

“Who knows. Maybe Fedor knocks out Brock, because we saw Brock against guys that hit hard. And that’s probably what (Fedor and Finkelstein) look at it now. Like, ‘Goddamn.'”