Fedor Emelianenko opens up on UFC deal never coming about, says Dana White did not sign contract

Fedor Emelianenko (Left), and Dana White (Right) {Photo credit: Bellator MMA / Lucas Noonan}
Fedor Emelianenko (Left), and Dana White (Right) {Photo credit: Bellator MMA / Lucas Noonan}

Fedor Emelianenko opened up on the UFC deal that came to fruition, which has arguably become the biggest what-if in MMA. In 2009, he was regarded as the greatest heavyweight in MMA and Dana White attempted to book a fight between him and then UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar.

During his appearance on The MMA Hour, Emelianenko brought up his negotiations with Dana White and if he was close to joining the promotion during his career. He revealed that he thought that joining the UFC was a possibility, but White didn't sign the contract.

He said:

"There was a moment when the UFC purchased Pride. There was a possibility but Dana White didn't sign the contract."

'The Last Emperor' also touched on his meeting with White in 2009, when rumors began circulating that the UFC wanted to book the Lesnar bout. He mentioned that although he met him, there was a major factor in why he couldn't accept their offer, saying:

"The whole point was like that I had a current contract with Strikeforce while Dana White was offering me a new contract with the UFC, so basically if I would sign that contract, I would get stuck. They would take me to court and I wouldn't fight be able to fight neither in Strikeforce or UFC, so it was pointless at the moment."

It would have been interesting to see how Emelianenko would have fared in the UFC if he had joined in 2009. After the UFC bought Strikeforce, he continued fighting in other promotions, including in Bellator, where he will compete in his retirement fight at Bellator 290 on Saturday, February 4.

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Fedor Emelianenko doesn't regret that he never fought in the UFC

Fedor Emelianenko is one of the most dominant fighters to have ever competed in MMA. His legendary tenure in Pride led to many regarding him as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world and greatest of all time.

While speaking with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, the former Pride heavyweight champion opened up about his career and mentioned that he doesn't regret ever fighting in the UFC, saying:

"I fought many UFC champions, and you know, and I was beaten them all, so it doesn't really bother me that I didn't fight there."

'The Last Emperor' would've immediately challenged Lesnar for the title had he accepted the UFC's offer and could have been matched up with the likes of Cain Velasquez, Junior dos Santos, and Shane Carwin during his tenure.

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Edited by Micah Curtis
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