MMA fans have been relatively lucky over the years in that the majority of fights that were spoken about as ‘dream matches’ were able to be put together by various promoters – usually the UFC. I’m talking fights like Liddell vs. Silva, Lesnar vs. Velasquez, St-Pierre vs. Diaz, and so forth.
Unfortunately, we still missed out on plenty of fights that were wildly hyped over time; fights that never ended up happening due to various different reasons, be it contract issues, retirements, injuries and so forth. Here are 5 great MMA fights that we never got to see.
#1 Brock Lesnar vs. Fedor Emelianenko
In the summer of 2009, a fight between UFC Heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar and the widely-recognised #1 Heavyweight in the world – Fedor Emelianenko – was the fight that MMA fans wanted to see more than any other. Not only would it pit the great Fedor against a man far larger and more powerful than he was, but it would’ve been a chance for Lesnar to really prove that he was the top big man in the sport without question.
Unfortunately, the UFC simply couldn’t get a deal done with Fedor and so the fight remained no more than a pipe dream. Despite Lesnar taking plenty of shots at Fedor – most notably saying he no longer cared about fighting the Russian when it was announced that ‘The Last Emperor’ had signed with StrikeForce rather than the UFC – you could tell that missing out on a fight with him was definitely a regret.
How would the fight have gone? Judging on Lesnar’s eventual downfall – based on a combination of his issues with diverticulitis and a struggle to defend against standing strikes – I’d probably have put my money on Fedor to get through with a big bomb. After all, the Russian had dealt with world-class wrestlers and much bigger foes before. It would’ve been one hell of a spectacle though and it remains frustrating that we missed out on it.