Fedor Emelianenko: The Last Emperor
Fedor Emelianenko is one the greatest fighters ever. The Russian earned the respect of his peers (except UFC management probably), being considered by many the greatest fighter ever. Fedor was a prototype of modern MMA fighter, that proved that such wrestlers must be complete athletes that master both ground fight and stand up battle.
Fedor Emelianenko is a legend that is considered the king of MMA’s Golden Age. In a period when MMA was more attractive and more widespread in Japan. the Last Emperor managed to stay 10 years undefeated, being Pride heavyweight champion between 2003 and 2008. Fedor is the longest reigning top pound-for-pound ranked fighter in MMA history.
Emelianenko started his MMA career in 2000 against Martin Lazarov. Fedor recorded 4 straight wins, including a splendid victory against Ricardo Arona, in one of the toughest fights of Emelianenko ever.
He was defeated only once until 2010. This defeat came in the early days of his MMA career against the Japanes legend Tsuyoshi Kosaka, who accidentally injured Fedor with an elbow strike. The match should have been declared No Contest because elbows were not allowed, but the Japaneses decided to declare winner their fellow countrymen after only 17 seconds. The Last Emperor had his revenge 5 years later, when he battered Kosaka in the first round, and proved that the Japanese had won the previous fight because judges’ unfair decision.
was undefeated since December 2000 (after that controversial defeat against Kosaka) until June 2010, recording 28 wins against the best fighters of his time. The Last Emperor ruled Pride and managed to defeat 11 top-10 ranked fighters (two of them twice – Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Mark Coleman). In those legendary 10 years, Fedor Emelianenko
won 22 of his matches before limit and only 6 by decision. The Last Emperor proved that can beat anyone, even on their own turf. Fedor beat twice Nogueira on the ground and managed to grab a splendid win against Mirko Cro Cop Filipovic in a stand up striking fight.
Fedor fought in the heavyweight, despite being smaller than most of his opponents (only 1.82 meters) and with a weight of 103 kilograms. Japaneses tried different combinations of fighters that could break Emelianenko, but the Russian remained undefeated and became a legend. In order to create a grotesque show, Japanese tried to break Emelianenko by making him fight against giant freaks like Zuluzhino or Hong Mam Choi, but the Last Emperor beat everyone that was put in front of him with ease. Fedor Emelianenko defeated 4 former UFC champions (Mike Coleman, Tim Sylvia and Andrei Arlovski), the incumbent Pride champion (Nogueira) and 3 K1 champions (Mark Hunt, Semmy Schilt and Mirko Cro Cop Filipovic). Fedor was an example of intelligence, force and skill. However, many specialists considered that Fedor’s main advantage was related to his ability to sustain tons of kicks, punches and knee strikes without any problem, looking like a cyborg.
After the dissolution of Pride, Fedor Emelianenko wandered in the wild, fighting opponents that were unworthy for the greatest MMA fighter ever. In 2010, Fedor decided to try his luck in North America in Strikeforce. Unfortunately, his stint ended badly with only 1 win and 3 consecutive defeats. The age seemed to become and issue for Fedor, who seemed to have lost from his agility, and years of continuous beatings seemed to have taken their toll and impeded the Last Emperor to become a legend in Strikeforce also. For the first time in his fighting history, Fedor Emelianenko demonstrated that size mattered against Big Foot Silva. After 3 more matches outside Strikeforce in which Fedor looked a bit old,without the ferocity and agility of his prime years, Fedor retired in 2012.
Fedor Emelianenko is a name that is synonymous with greatness. He was not only a great fighter, but also a great man, being a humble and a great champion that always respected his opponents. The Last Emperor was the prototype of modern MMA fighters and probably the best, a ferocious beast that no one could have beat in his prime years! Respect Fedor!