Except "Vadummy" Finkelchtein and his crew "laughed at the deal."
Emelianenko was first up for grabs following the collapse of Pride FC in 2007. Zuffa lobbied hard to bring the Sambo champion on board however, talks broke down when the parties could not agree on an exclusive fight contract, eventually leading him to Affliction MMA under his own terms.
After the "tee-shirt guys" collapsed under the weight of their own spending, co-promotion once again trumped cash, as Strikeforce brought M-1 Global into a partnership similar to the one it had with the now-defunct Elite XC back in 2008.
Emelianenko's record since that partnership is 1-3, having recently lost to Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion Dan Henderson just last month. But prior to his recent collapse, Zuffa was doing everything in its power to make a Brock Lesnar vs Fedor Emelianenko superfight inside the Octagon.
White explains the "insane" offer he made to get the deal done.
"I flew to some fucking island out in the middle of nowhere, okay? Did everything that they asked to do, did everything that they wanted us to do to go make this fight happen... and... we went there for nothing because those guys literally went there to not make a deal. I tried to do the fight that the fans wanted to see, I tried to make it happen and they didn't want to do it. He would have come into the UFC and he would have fought Brock Lesnar, that's what he would have done and we would have saw who won or lost. If Brock lost and Fedor won, I don't make those decisions, the fighters do. But I went out there and gave him an insane offer. Insane. And I'm so glad he didn't take it! Now that I've seen what's happened and how this thing has played out, I'm thrilled that he did not take that offer. For the record? Vadummy, Vadummy knows... the deal that was offered to him, you know, and his fucking guy who was some political guy laughed at the deal. I bet you're not laughing now, are you guys? It is what it is. I told you that day in the room, I told them. I said, guess what? He's one punch away from being worth zero. Come in and take this opportunity, this is what the fans want to see, do it. And you know you didn't fucking do it and you know it is what it is. So, people can get pissed at me and say whatever, you guys don't know half the shit that goes on behind the scenes. I know all of it. He turned down a ridiculous, insane offer. Turned it down. And they fucked (up), you know it, you know you did and I bet you wish you could go back in a time machine and sit down in that room and re-do that deal, I bet you wish you could. But you can't, so it's over."
White, obsessed with the acquisition of Emelianenko during 2009 negotiations with M-1 Global, went from blank checks to "no thanks" after the former WAMMA kingpin ended his 27-fight winning streak against Fabricio Werdum back in 2010, who at the time was considered to be UFC refuse.
In his next two fights under the Strikeforce banner, "The Last Emperor" would be abused by Antonio Silva and finished by "Hendo."
Brock Lesnar has since lost his UFC heavyweight title to Cain Velasquez and resumed his fight against diverticulitis.
Did Dana White get the last laugh? Or will Fedor still go down as one of the best ever? And how would a "Lesnar vs. Emelianenko" superfight have changed the course of heavyweight history?