Fedor Emilianenko Will Have His Hands Full Caging MMA's "Pit Bull"

Ian RobinettSenior Analyst IJanuary 22, 2009

In 48 hours, the world gets to see the best of the best, Fedor Emelianenko, put his streak of 26 consecutive non-losses (one no-contest to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueria in 2004) on the line again.

This time, I can honestly say the outcome could be different.

Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't bet against Fedor. But of his recent opponents, Andrei Arlovski is different.

Now, why do I say this? I mean Tim Sylvia was decimated by Fedor, and notched consecutive wins against Arlovski in the UFC.

Here's why I say Arlovski is different. Tim Sylvia is a big, bumbling, oaf.  He never looks "in shape," and on top of that, he can't go more than two rounds into a fight.  And even that can be a stretch.

Arlovski's two losses to Sylvia, and two subsequent wins over Marcio Cruz and Fabricio Werdum were not "The Pit Bull" everyone knew. He didn't look like he had the fire that catapulted him to the UFC Heavyweight Title.

Then came the fight with Jake O'Brien at UFC 82.

Arlovski entered the octagon with a fire in his eyes that reminded the world of the Andrei Arlovski of old.  He not only won, he won decisively.

From there, he has had two fights with Affliction/EliteXC Both of those fights have been the true "Pit Bull" that everyone remembered.

He has looked fresh, agile, strong, and smart in the cage. That's why I say if anyone outside the UFC has a chance to knock of "The Last Emperor," it's "The Pit Bull."

Andrei will pose many threats to Fedor. Andrei will have a height and weight advantage going in, and it isn't flab like Sylvia. Arlovski has vicious hands that could possibly catch Fedor and give the Russian's chin a real test.

What this fight will ultimately boil down to is Arlovski's mental game. If he can keep his composure and fight smart, he has a legitimate chance. If he does not panic if he makes a mistake, he'll have a chance.

Regardless of who wins, I see Arlovski being the first guy since Mark Coleman to escape the first round with Fedor.

My prediction...Simple...Double knockout! Seriously? Fedor in the middle of the second round.