Dana White says he almost booked Brock Lesnar vs. Fedor fight in 2012

Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC

Brock Lesnar may have returned to WWE in 2012 but his flirtation with MMA continued and now UFC President Dana White is claiming Lesnar was very close to going back for a fight against heavyweight legend Fedor Emelianenko.

Well, this is interesting.

When Brock Lesnar retired from mixed martial arts (MMA) competition after his UFC 141 loss to Alistair Overeem in Dec. 2011, it was only a matter of time before he went back to professional wrestling and a big payday from Vince McMahon and WWE. That's what happened too, as "The Next Big Thing" made his big return the night after WrestleMania 28 to feud with John Cena, eventually leading to a match between the two at the Extreme Rules pay-per-view (PPV) a few weeks later.

That show did better business than it has in some time but there were reports coming out of it that Lesnar was unhappy with the booking. He lost that night but Cena was apparently supposed to do a stretcher job and instead grabbed a microphone and cut a promo as the show went off the air.

According to rumors, this angered Brock and he went off the deep end backstage. But no one was ever really able to establish if that was a work or not, with one side believing it was legitimate and the other thinking it was just an elaborate work on "the boys" in the back.

Either way, Brock showed up at UFC 146 a month later and suddenly he was meeting with UFC President Dana White to discuss a possible return. Misinformation and shoddy reporting soon followed, as no one could get the story on just what the hell was going on. It was originally thought that Lesnar's contract with WWE was exclusive but there were conflicting reports stating he had one fight left on his UFC deal and if both parties decided they wanted to exercise that, well, they would.

Naturally, Brock got "nuclear heat" from WWE for meeting with White and showing up at a UFC event without telling anyone about it. All the old stories of how difficult to deal with he was back in his first run with the company from 2002 to 2004 reared their ugly heads.

Ultimately, it didn't matter because White revealed his meeting with Lesnar "couldn't have gone worse" and Brock returned to WWE for a big program with Triple H leading to a match between the two at SummerSlam, where they drew a great buyrate that will likely be the catalyst for Lesnar signing another deal with WWE.

So what's the point of bringing all this up again?

The headline tells the tale. Following last night's UFC on Fox 6 event in Chicago, White told assembled media that he lied about his meeting with Lesnar not going well and revealed he had a deal put together to bring Brock back for a fight against Russian heavyweight legend Fedor Emelianenko in Cowboys Stadium in Texas before plans fell through.

"I told you guys that story before, we were in deep talks with him we were that close to signing him. No [we were close to signing him] recently, right before his dad died...we were right there. When I was talking about doing that big Dallas Texas stadium show it was going to be Brock Lesnar versus Fedor. Remember when I met with him and I said it didn't get well? It actually did go well. It went well and then Fedor's dad died, he wanted to fight Fedor....Fedor was done, he said ‘I want to spend the rest of my life with my family.' We were negotiating for months. And then after his dad died he said, ‘That's it I'm done,' or whatever and then Brock said, ‘I'm done too.'"

This is interesting because one would think it would have meant Lesnar leaving WWE, or at least pushing back plans for the Triple H match. Considering the circumstances, it's fair to wonder if it would have killed his relationship with the company altogether.

Hell, it's fair to wonder what this new information will do for his relationship with WWE.

Perhaps all's well that ends well, though, and Brock is still a moneymaker who can draw good numbers at the box office. Don't be surprised if all is forgiven and forgotten.

Or if "The Game" squashes him at WrestleMania 29.

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