Before this article starts and people rant, no Fujita did not defeat the mighty Fedor but he did do something that no one else has been able to do before or since then. The date was June 8, 2003 at Pride 26 entitled Bad to the Bone. Kazuyuki Fujita faced off against Fedor Emelianenko.
What most people know either by looking up statistics on Sherdog.com or various other websites is that the matched ended at 4:17 of the first round with Emelianenko submitting Fujita with a rear naked choke.
What makes this fight interesting is that at the 3:26 mark of round one Fedor got absolutely rocked by a powerful perfectly timed overhand right by Fujita. At that instance and a couple seconds after when Fedor was wobbly and holding on to Fujita to keep from going down Fedor looked human and vulnerable.
Fedor has been bloodied up during a fight many times as his face has a tendency to cut easily. As most know already his only "lost" was due to an elbow which opened up a gash from the fight before in the tournament.
What makes the Fujita match special is the fact that he was able to cause Fedor's eyes to momentarily glass over and cause him to stumble helplessly. Albeit just for a few seconds, 51 seconds later Fujita was nearly choked unconscious.
Many will ask what about Arlovski and Randleman. Both looked good and impressive for a short period of time during their matches with Fedor but both were embarassed easily by him as was Fujita. The difference being that Fujita had Fedor in obvious danger. Randleman's suplex as awesome as it was never placed Fedor in great danger.
The Randleman suplex would have likely paralyzed 90% or more of all other men walking this earth but Fedor seemed to be unfazed and never lost consciousness. A little while after the suplex he easily pulled off a slick Kimura from bottom position. In fact, he didn't even seem hurt after the match.
This could have been because of his extensive Sambo and Judo training and his ability to fall with minimal damage along with having a very thick and strong neck.
In the fight with Arlovski, Fedor seemed to be rolling with the punches. He didn't seem to be hurt by them and had little visible damage. To Arlovski's credit the first three minutes of the fight were well calculated and his game plan was solid. He landed a few stiff shots but one has to wonder if it was all part of Fedor's plan to build Arlovski confidence then humble him the second he left himself open. It sure seemed that way.
Arlovski, like Crocop, tends to become more aggressive and open with his fighting style as his confidence grows. He landed hard shots and had Fedor backing away like no other fighter had but then he got overconfident and perhaps forgot who was in the ring with when he went for a flying knee. We all know what happened next.
When the Strikeforce card was announced for November on CBS and people saw Fedor vs. Rogers would headline some might have been disappointed. Maybe because Fedor signed with Strikeforce and not the UFC or it might have been because they think Brett Rogers is unproven and despite his perfect record he's no match for "The Last Emperor." But answer this: didn't people say the exact same thing about the Fujita match?
The fact is that in the heavyweight division there is always a puncher's chance when huge powerful men start slugging. Rogers will not out grapple Fedor nor will he be able to defend take downs and submission attempts from Fedor. All he has is a puncher's chance because let's face it that's all anyone has against Fedor.
If a prime Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira couldn't submit Fedor or at least prevent him from passing his world class guard in three matches then no one can. The only time Fedor appeared human and able to be dazed and hurt was by a very powerful right hand just under the ear on the jawline. This is what Rogers does best.
So to all the naysayers and people who criticize Fedor for taking this fight or Brett Rogers for not being a worthy opponent, never say never. The only way to hurt Fedor is by striking and hitting him at the right time in the right spot and then pummeling him before he recovers. No one has done this yet.
This fight can be another clinic put on by Fedor or the surprise of the fight world. Nothing is ever known for sure in the fight game. Fujita was a Japanese wrestler with an iron head and powerful hands. An opponent who didn't really stack up to most of Fedor's other opponents, yet he had more success then any of them.
So in closing, to say that Fedor's winning streak will continue is a safe bet but don't discount this fight. Instead sit down and wait for the fireworks.
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