For almost 10 years the Russian heavyweight ruled as world number one. Unbeaten in his journey to titles in multiple countries, and considered by some as the greatest of all-time. A legend, but do recent results mean in reality he is a mere myth?
His success, like all success, has been challenged by sceptics who claim he avoided the very best and refused to sign for the UFC when he had the chance. This of course argued against by his devote fans, but the doubts were there. After the demise of ‘Affliction’, ‘Strikeforce’ beckoned, and this would lead to his downfall.
All was well as he conquered the undefeated Brett Rogers in his ‘Strikeforce’ debut by TKO in the second round. As expected Fedor comes through victorious, although a loss would have shook the MMA world. Though we would not have to wait much longer.
June 26th 2010 – Fedor Emelianenko vs Fabricio Werdum, within seconds ‘The Last Emperor’ knocks down what looks to be the latest victim to try and fail, but as he goes in for the kill all was about to change. Werdum locks in a triangle followed by an arm bar, there was a struggle and then a pause from Fedor’s hand but he was forced to tap.
The Emperor ‘dethroned’ and Fedor concedes post-fight “I’m just a human being”. Those loyal to him claimed Fabricio was lucky, and to be fair it was a momentary lapse from the Russian heavyweight. The question now being was it a one off?
His next fight was Antonio Silva in the Strikeforce Grand Prix quarter-final, and it was to be another blow to the legendary status of Fedor. A second round doctor stoppage after ‘Big foot’ landed heavy blows on the ground saw Fedor lose his second fight in a row. Many shocked, and it seemed to be the end for the Russian heavyweight.
This legend was now well and truly crumbling before the very eyes of those fans who supported him for so long. His career on a thread at the age of 34, but he returned for a clash of titans. Dan Henderson was next in a fight which looked to be make or break for Fedor.
The build-up was immense, so many wondering whether this would be the last ever time we would see ‘The Last Emperor’ fight. So much at stake, could Fedor make the comeback?
He shot out of the blocks, and it was an entertaining first round. Towards the end Fedor dropped Henderson, and it looked to be it. The great man bouncing back after two straight losses, only for it all to end so abruptly as the former UFC champion Hendo hit Fedor with a devastating right, Fedor dropping face down. He turned over, but Herb Dean brought it to an end.
Controversy surrounded the finish, but nonetheless Fedor was reduced to his third straight loss. He gave nothing away about his future plans, simply because it is “God’s will”. The mighty has fallen hard, his fans *still* think highly of him, but his legend has suddenly become a myth.
Doubts over his winning streak and, although arguably unfair, about his legendary status. Even his greatest critic Dana White said he was a top heavyweight earlier in the decade, so you cannot take that away from him, nor can you question what he has done for the popularity of the sport.
Author of 'Heathman's Word'