You don't get recognized as the best without defeating some of the best of your time.
Even though Fedor never stepped foot into the Octagon, he faced competition with a combined 131 fights in the UFC. He also dominated the PRIDE Fighting Championships, which held the best heavyweight division of its time.
Here are the quality guys Fedor has defeated and their credentials.
Ricardo Arona: 14-5 Overall, 8-4 PRIDE
If you haven't had a chance to see Ricardo Arona fight, open a tab and YouTube him. He holds victories over Dan Henderson, Wanderlei Silva, Alistair Overeem and Jeremy Horn. In only his fourth professional fight, Fedor was the first man to defeat Arona.
Renato Sobral: 37-9 Overall, 6-4 UFC
The former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion has beaten Chael Sonnen and Shogun Rua.
Semmy Schilt: 26-14-1 Overall, 1-1 UFC, 4-3 PRIDE
Many would argue that Semmy Schilt is the greatest standup fighter of all time. With a 39-6 kickboxing record and wins against quality fighters, he deserves consideration as one of the best.
However, he became another Fedor victim in a 2002 PRIDE match that saw "The Last Emperor" take down the "Kickboxing King."
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira: 33-7 Overall, 4-3 UFC, 17-3 PRIDE
Holding a record of 19-1-1, Big Nog was once considered the top heavyweight in the world. With an unbeatable guard, Nog rolled through Dan Henderson, Semmy Schilt, Mark Coleman and Jeremy Horn.
Then, in what may have been the biggest heavyweight match in MMA history, Fedor faced Big Nog in 2003 with the PRIDE Heavyweight Championship on the line. Fedor won by unanimous decision.
In three epic matches against Fedor, Big Nog went 0-2 with one no contest.
Mark Coleman: 16-10 Overall, 7-6 UFC, 8-5 PRIDE
Mark Coleman has many accomplishments: UFC Hall of Famer, two-time UFC tournament winner and the very first UFC heavyweight champion. Coleman was a force. With a 13-5 record before facing Fedor, Coleman also defeated top heavyweights Igor Vovchanchyn, Dan Severn and Don Frye.
Mark Hunt: 8-7 Overall, 3-1 UFC, 5-3 PRIDE
Who would have thought that this name would have been here a couple of years ago? Hunt is currently riding a three-fight UFC win streak, and Bleacher Report ranks him as the No. 8 heavyweight in the world. With a 30-13 kickboxing record and wins against Mirko Cro Cop and Wanderlei Silva, the heavy-hitting Samoan was 5-2 before losing to Fedor.
Tim Sylvia: 31-7 Overall, 9-4 UFC
Sylvia is a two-time UFC heavyweight champion. He is also tied with Randy Couture for the most successful defenses of UFC Heavyweight Championship. Sylvia has beaten UFC vets Ben Rothwell and Brandon Vera, Andrei Arlovski and Paul Buentello.
Even Dana White, who had been notorious for bashing Fedor, said after Fedor's fight with Sylvia, "It does (change my opinion). Tim Sylvia was a real opponent."
Kevin Randleman: 17-16 Overall, 4-3 UFC, 4-7 PRIDE
Don't let the record fool you. Randleman was one of the top heavyweights of the class when he fought Fedor. Fresh off of a knockout of Mirko Cro Cop, "The Monster" was 15-7 and held victories over Renato Sobral and Pedro Rizzo. A former UFC heavyweight champion, Randleman was considered a top-10 heavyweight when he faced Fedor.
Mirko Filipovic: 27-10 Overall, 4-6 UFC, 18-3-2 PRIDE
Of all the dangerous heavyweights, Cro Cop was the most feared standup fighter in the world. "Left leg hospital, right leg cemetery" rings true since 10 of his 20 KOs came via kicks. Before he met Fedor, Cro Cop was on a seven-fight winning streak that claimed Mark Coleman, Kevin Randleman, Josh Barnett and even Fedor's brother Alexander as victims.
In the 2005 Fight of the Year, Cro Cop and Fedor went the distance in an instant classic. Fedor got rocked and stumbled, only to catch himself and bring the fight back to Cro Cop. Definitely a fight worth catching on YouTube.
So how did Fedor's opponents fare in the UFC and PRIDE?
Fedor faced 18 opponents who have fought in the UFC. Their combined UFC record is 82-49, which is a 62.5 winning percentage in the Octagon.
In the ring under PRIDE rules, Fedor faced 14 fighters with a combined PRIDE record of 99-44, good for a 69.2 winning percentage.
That's saying something.