It’s the fight an entire generation of MMA considers The One That Got Away: Brock Lesnar vs. Fedor Emelianenko.
Right around the time Lesnar (5-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC) was both the UFC heavyweight champion and MMA’s biggest draw, Emelianenko (39-6 MMA, 3-2 BMMA), the longtime PRIDE heavyweight titleholder, was turning his attention to fighting in North America.
And the potential bout between the two was considered in many corners the ultimate heavyweight superfight, one which could potentially move the UFC out of their arena comfort zone and into a stadium.
Alas, it never happened, as the UFC and Emelianenko didn’t come to terms. Emelianenko went on to fight in the United States for Affliction and then Strikeforce before retiring, then returning with Bellator. Lesnar had his run in the UFC, then went back to the WWE, where he’s remained a big star.
And the fight fans from MMA’s ’00s heyday wanted never came to fruition … or will it?
Word broke Monday that Lesnar is now a free agent, his WWE contract up. That could potentially mean he’d take another MMA fight if the price was right. Emelianenko remains under contract to Bellator. And a promoter who has shown no hesitation to matchup MMA’s senior set when the fight is right is Bellator president Scott Coker.
Which makes his comments to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani about the two 43-year-olds rather interesting:
Asked Bellator President Scott Coker if he has interest in Brock Lesnar, and he replied:
“Yes, if he’s truly available. Fedor vs. Brock is interesting. It’s the fight that never happened!”
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) August 31, 2020
Asked Bellator President Scott Coker if he has interest in Brock Lesnar, and he replied: “Yes, if he’s truly available. Fedor vs. Brock is interesting. It’s the fight that never happened!”
There are plenty of obstacles in the way of such a fight, including the basic fact Lesnar has not indicated an interest in returning to MMA. But a fight many gave up on years ago now at least has a glimmer of a chance.