UFC boss Dana White revealed failing to make a dream-fight between Brock Lesnar and Fedor Emelianenko was his biggest regret.
Emelianenko is regarded as the most legendary heavyweight for his career with PRIDE in Japan and later Strikeforce and Bellator in the US.
However, the Russian never fought for the UFC – despite holding talks with the promotion in 2013.
White revealed he wanted WWE star Lesnar – who won the UFC title in 2010 but retired a year later – to face Emelianenko at the Texas Stadium.
But after the death of Emelianenko’s father talks with White and the UFC broke down, meaning the dream fight Lesnar was also interested in collapsed.
White explained to UFC.com: “The only fight that I wanted to make that was never made was Brock Lesnar vs Fedor Emelianenko.
“We were going to do it at Texas Stadium. But I couldn’t get a deal done with Fedor, so it never happened.
“We were in deep talks with [Emelianenko]. 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.”
Lesnar did return to the cage, for a special comeback at UFC 200 in 2016, five years after retiring.
But his points win over Mark Hunt was chalked off after failing multiple pre and post-fight drug tests.
Lesnar entered the United States Anti-Doping Agency testing pool at the start of 2019 as he looked to challenge then champion Daniel Cormier – but he later decided to axe another octagon return.
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