I have opted to include a much more back-and-forth highlight of two of my top strikers going at it rather than simply a highlight of Emelianenko waling on normal fighters. Watch out for the counterpunching and body strikes.
Emelianenko is easily my favorite striker from a technical standpoint in MMA. I don't want readers to confuse my inclusion of him at the top of my list as pretending that he was perfect. No, even at his best, Emelianenko was pretty ugly from a fundamental technical standpoint.
No, the reason that I rate Emelianenko so highly is that he epitomizes what good striking is. It is not about throwing technique perfectly and expecting it to get through—there are plenty of fighters with great fundamental form who can't even land their strikes. Striking is about using a bag of tricks to land strikes on an opponent who is hell-bent on not letting you.
Where Anderson Silva and Lyoto Machida are almost exclusively counterfighters who use long kicks to irritate when they don't want to lead, Emelianenko had one of the most well-rounded striking games in MMA at his best. By merit of his excellent grappling pedigree, Fedor could walk forward without having to worry, as today's best strikers do.
Now, of course, from about 2007 Emelianenko degenerated into simply swinging at an opponent, but from 2000 to 2006 you would be hard-pressed to find a better all-around MMA striker than The Russian Experiment.
His hand traps and right-hand leads served as brilliant offensive weapons where opponents simply expected a jab, and Fedor's counterpunching salvos were fantastic.
Fedor's rear-hand parries to lead hooks in answer to the legendary Cro Cop left straight mentioned earlier are some of the finest counterpunches you will see in MMA, and his body work in that match was also years ahead of the rest of the MMA world, which is still reluctant to do anything but swing for the head.
Fedor exemplifies something which can be learned but can't be taught and which separates the good from the great. Understand that the technically perfect way is very rarely the best way, and that the best way is what counts.
To read more of my work on Fedor Emelianenko check out this piece.
Jack Slack breaks down over 70 striking tactics employed by 20 elite strikers in his first ebook, Advanced Striking, and discusses the fundamentals of strategy in his new ebook, Elementary Striking.
Jack can be found on Twitter, Facebook and at his blog: Fights Gone By.