Gardner turned down 1million to fight Fedor in '04

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                                Gardner turned down 1million to fight Fedor in '04

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"I enjoyed that first fight and I enjoyed getting back into youth wrestling and that kind of stuff," Gardner confessed. "I just didn't have the killer instinct to go out there and just try to hurt somebody. It was almost an unknown feeling to me to feel what I was feeling when I fought, so it was a different journey. I didn't really know if I wanted to go down to see that part of my personality because it's a thing you have to pull out of yourself and that; that grittiness. I don't know if I have that."

"I've been to Rome and I've seen the coliseum. I kinda felt like I was a gladiator. I didn't know if that's where my calling was in life. I didn't see myself being that type of fighter," Gardner continued. "I didn't see myself as a killer."

That doesn't mean, however, he wasn't close to walking further down the MMA path. In fact, as Gardner revealed to Helwani, the management at PRIDE already had their sights set on Gardner's next bout: a match with then-PRIDE heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko.

"They wanted me to jump in there with Fedor. They'd offered me a substantial amount of money," said Gardner. How substantial? According to Gardner, approximately $1 million.

"They loved the idea of me going against Fedor. You have sambo, you have wrestling, you have two of the classic styles of wrestling. They wanted us to go at it. I just said, 'You know, I have better aspirations right now I want to get into.'"

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 Wow a million dollars would be hard to walk away from

I think he was making tremendous money in other endeavors at the time

Crazy, I want nothing to do with being a fighter but I'd fight the champ in my weight class for that kind of cash.

He ended up on the biggest loser so ultimately he won out.

ChokeEmOut - 
Chris -  seems like a big pay day to turn down.

Of course it does to you. I for one am glad Rulon doesn't worship money and didn't see it as ideal and had other things to pursue Phone Post

I can respect that.

As a fan, however, it's too bad he never took that fight, his debut was tremendous and I thought he could have a great future in the sport. His wrestling is second to none and he displayed one of the best jabs I've ever seen in MMA. I'm not kidding.

He destroyed Yoshida, who is a tough guy, I would have loved to see him fight Fedor - I think he could have won.

 pretty awesome story. didn't get much love yesterday with JBJ-gate.

That 1 million could have bought him a new toe, more gas for his snowmobile.

So his second fight would have been with Fedor? Dang lol Phone Post

 Smart man. Too bad Ishii wasn't so smart.

would have been a good fight Phone Post

That would have been a interdasting freak show fight...but Fedor would have knocked his block off

ABE FROMAN - He ended up on the biggest loser so ultimately he won out.

So lose, lose situation described here? :P

god, i can't wrap my mind around turning down 1 mil.

god, i can't wrap my mind around turning down 1 mil.

god, i can't wrap my mind around turning down 1 mil.

god, i can;t wrap Jason Reinhardt's mind around turning down 1 mil.