UFC legend Shogun Rua revisits Fedor Emelianenko offer that fell through ahead of his retirement

The highlights of the mid-2000s MMA were definitely the bouts featuring both Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Fedor Emelianenko.

During the peak of Pride FC, Shogun and Fedor were two of the most beloved and dominant athletes. Both these guys were loved for their raging and violent styles.

A bout between these prominent entertainers would be legendary.

This was wanted all over the world and at the time, it could have been the most watched event in history.

Despite the large weight difference, Rua recalls that this almost happened. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua said he considers Fedor Emelianenko the greatest of all time in mixed martial arts two years ago.

In an interview with Sherdog, he referred to the 2005 Pride Grand Prix:

“I entered as an underdog and finished as champion in a tournament with 16 fighters, which was considered by many as the toughest Grand Prix ever.”

“After I won the Light Heavyweight and he won the Heavyweight Grand Prix, the promoters started to talk about a super fight, but it never happened,”.

“Coincidentally I was probably closer to fighting my idol Wanderlei. But It would have been an honor to fight Fedor when we both were in our primes. In my opinion, Fedor is among the three best pound-for-pound fighters ever.”

A few years later after the UFC bought PRIDE, both powerhouses went their separate ways.

This finished any chance for them to meet each other in the octagon.

Shogun became the UFC light heavyweight champion. As for Fedor, he competed stateside before joining Strikeforce and later went to Bellator.

As 2023 is right around the corner, both athletes have hinted at retirement after a fruitful career.

Shogun is set to face Ihor Potieria on the 21st of January at UFC 283 in Rio de Janeiro.

Emelianenko will be taking on Ryan Bader in a much requested rematch at Bellator 290 scheduled for California in February.