There has been a lot of speculation in weeks since Fedor Emelianenko, “The Last Emperor,” announced his return to MMA as to what promotion he will be fighting for. This is big news, as Fedor has long been considered the greatest heavyweight of all time, and often spoken of as the top pound for pound fighter in history.
While he has had a long and successful career, one thing that has always been missing is a stint in the UFC. Entering the UFC and conquering the promotion would be a feather in his cap unlike no other, especially given his age, and would cement his position as the Greatest of All Time.
But the UFC shouldn’t bother signing him, and I’m going to tell you why.
Fedor is an overhyped bag of shit.
Okay, I wasn’t going to start out that strongly, but fuck it.
Fedor is the Creed of the MMA world. Once upon a time, they were the top-selling rock band in the world, but now the only people who like them are douchebags. Fun fact: both Creed and Fedor douches like Tapout shirts and rub one out while looking for nude Ronda pics on Sherdog. They embrace Fedor with arms wide open…
Okay, YES, he was the best heavyweight of his time. In 2003, after a really strong run of wins over the very best of the best in the world at heavyweight, including Semmy Schilt, Heath Herring, Ricardo Arona (okay, a light heavyweight, but still one of the best grapplers in the world), capped with a win over Pride champ Antonio Rodrigo Nogeuira (who just officially retired… finally), Fedor was the MAN. He was kicking ass and taking names.
His fights were largely dominant performances over top competition and there was no question he was top dog.
But he fought in Pride. Yes, Pride was the best MMA promotion at the time. No question. Fuck you if you disagree. Who was the UFC heavyweight champ in 2003? Tim Sylvia, who got his belt stripped after testing positive for steroids. Yep, this Adonis was juicing:
A little while later Frank Mir won the belt but lost a competition between his motorcycle and the street. So at the very least, the UFC heavyweight division was shit. Pride was where it was at, and Fedor was unquestionably king of the mountain.
But it was also Pride. An organization that let their fighters juice like fucking mad. Yep, they let cheating go on and on and on. There was NEVER a high profile bust of one of their fighters for steroids. In fact, Kevin Randleman was once given a cup to piss in and he handed it back to them with a simple, “Nope.” And that was the end of it. He still got to fight and no one gave a shit. It’s amazing how many of their top guys looked remarkably softer and slower when they got to the UFC.
Was Fedor juicing? Well, we don’t know, but if he was he was using the same stuff Sylvia used:
Oh, and Pride protected their top fighters, often tossing easy fights their way. I’ll let Mike’s Top Ten Overrated Fighters article explain how this benefited Wanderlei Silva and Mirco CroCop (who, admittedly, benefitted a lot more than Fedor back in the day), but Fedor definitely fought a few tomato cans while heavyweight champ of the world. Isn’t it amazing how those wins really help pad a resume and make your career look WAY more successful than it was?
Here’s an example: WHO THE FUCK IS EDIDJUS VALAVICIUS? Okay, I actually remember him but he sucked. I watched the fight once back in the day, but it’s been 12 years and you’ll forgive me for not giving a shit, because WHO THE FUCK IS EDIDJUS VALAVICIUS?
He was Fedor’s first fight after winning the Pride belt. It was in Rings for some odd reason (i.e. Russian mafia) but then he came back and fought a couple legit dudes, including Fujita and Gary Goodridge, who was a scary fighter, so my hat’s off to Fedor for risking his balls to fight Goodridge (TRUE STORY: Goodridge once reached into his opponent’s nut cup during a no-rules fight in Brazil and squeezed the guy’s testicles really hard. For real. It was legal. No rules, baby!).
Anyways, I’m not knocking Fedor’s full Pride run. He beat Big Nog twice, with a no contest in the middle, beat CroCop, who was a top contender, and survived Kevin Randleman German suplexing him to death. Fedor proved an immortal T-1000 after tapping Randleman via kimura shortly after this:
YES, he was the greatest heavyweight in the world back then. Back then in 2005.
Then he was protected by Pride, securing his legacy and pumping up dumbass internet “MMA Experts/Creed Aficionados” who want to look smart by talking about the glory that is The Last Emperor.
After CroCop, Fedor had QUITE the run of fighting giants who had no business fighting (Zuluzinho, Choi Hong-man) and guys who were coming off losses (Mark Hunt – yes, a legit kickboxer and a pretty good fighter, but he’d JUST been tapped by Josh Barnett before getting a shot at the best heavyweight on Earth? How many UFC title shots are granted to guys who just lost fights? Other than Chael Sonnen, that is.)
Maybe we should find glory in Fedor beating Matt Lindland, who was once a UFC Middleweight title challenger at his best (not even champion), and Fedor had to cheat like a bitch by grabbing the ropes to defend a takedown. Or maybe it was his win over Tim Sylvia, who is Tim Sylvia (see: everything about Tim Sylvia.) Oh, and Sylvia was also coming off a loss when Fedor bravely chose to take him on.
Maybe Fedor could come back at Middleweight for a rematch with Dan Henderson. Yep, Middleweight Dan Henderson knocked his fat Russian ass out. MIDDLEWEIGHT.
So fuck you if you think he isn’t overhyped.
Fedor hasn’t fought in over 3 years, and he’s 38.
MMA changes fast. One day, you’re ahead of the game, mixing up disciplines in a way no one has ever seen before (Frank Shamrock). A few years later, some kid is coming into the sport doing shit you can’t believe is possible (Jon Jones).
Physically, fighters evolve. A light heavyweight today is yesterday’s heavyweight. Big Nog and Fedor were never big heavyweights, but they didn’t look tiny during their prime. Today’s heavyweights are ripped at 250 pounds. And they can move. Fedor looks like this at 235:
I guarantee you Jon Jones is twice as ripped and walks around over 235 at the beginning of his training camps. And he’s over ten years younger, faster than Fedor ever was, and would throw the Last Emperor around like an old bitch.
Ring rust is a real thing. Fighters coming back from a long time away from competition need a tune up fight before they’re really back at their best.
Fedor is not getting a tune up fight in the UFC. EVERY SINGLE TOP TEN UFC HEAVYWEIGHT CAN KICK HIS ASS.
Yes, I know he knocked out Arlovski back in 2009, but that was because Arlovski got overconfident after the first couple minutes when he was outclassing Fedor. He got cocky and did something stupid. And his chin sucks. So I suppose there’s a chance he could take Arlovski in a rematch, but I think The Pit Bull would walk through him now that Fedor’s older, slower, and probably a bit fatter.
Werdum already smoked him. Big Foot Silva smoked him (to be fair, Fedor had a good excuse, as Silva had people in the crowd performing voodoo rituals that threw Fedor off his game).
Fedor Devalues the UFC Heavyweight Division… and the Light Heavyweight Division… and the Middleweight Division
Simply put: the UFC is supposed to be the elite of the elite. Signing CM Punk was a bad move too, so I’ll grant you there’s some precedent, but Fedor doesn’t deserve to be in the UFC. He beat old as shit Pedro Rizzo over 3 years ago, and that does not earn you a spot in the UFC.
He’s old. At this point, the UFC could sign him just to show the world he never mattered, but that isn’t true. He mattered once upon a time, but was never as great as he’s been made out to be, age has not made him better, and the sport has evolved past him. He can not hang with any of the UFC’s heavyweight fighters, and would unquestionably get smoked by most if not all of the Light Heavyweight division.
Signing Fedor is the UFC giving a final “FUCK YOU” to Pride, and gives them a chance to make their organization look like it was always the best of the best. It wasn’t. It is now. When Dana and the Fertitas took over, the UFC was dying and growing increasingly irrelevant. They turned all that around. Good for them.
But having Fedor in the UFC doesn’t mean much to most fans nowadays. Your average MMA fan doesn’t know much about him, doesn’t give much of a shit after seeing him tapped out and knocked the fuck out, so why bother? They have three fighters on their roster right now that beat him. They won.
Don’t pay this overhyped bag of shit a truckload of money and devalue the heavyweight division.
On the other hand… Ronda is having a hard time finding an opponent who can last more than a minute with her. Maybe Fedor can beat a girl. After all, he’s Russian, and in Russia, wife beats self with your hand.