How Good Is Fedor Emeliankenko Really?
Today, I was looking at the Sherdog.com Heavyweight rankings, and I saw that Brett Rogers jumped to No. 5 after his loss to heavyweight kingpin Fedor Emelianenko.
I pondered how a person can move up in the rankings in a loss, is this the BCS? FML.
If you don't know what fmylife.com is, check it out, it is wonderful how horrible people think their lives are, and though ranking fighters isn't anywhere near pathetic, I'm stuck wondering why fighters are ranked, where they are ranked, who really decides this stuff, and what it's based on.
Consensus No. 1 Fedor Emelianenko has had a run of greatness that none have equaled.
When he ruled Pride, he showed a skill set that none could match. His unique ability to adapt his game to the person who he faced is something that you had to see to completely understand. He out wrestled wrestlers, he out striked strikers, and he submitted submission specialist.
Doubting his skill set would be completely inane, however; is he still No. 1? His last three wins were against Tim Sylvia, Andrei Arlovski, and Brett Rogers. He did indeed win convincingly, taking out all three inferior opponents in rather impressive fashion, but I feel like I am forced to look at his last three opponents and question if Fedor really is still that good.
Brett Rogers put up a Rocky Balboa-type performance in his K.O. loss against Fedor. He did what all young hungry fighters should do on the biggest stage of their careers, go for broke and hope for the best.
Until this past spring, he was working at a Sam's Club tire department, meaning that fighting has been his life for less than a year, though it has been a part of his life, he hasn't had the chance to be dedicated to his craft like Fedor, who has been fighting all of his life.
Knocking out Andrei Arlovski in 22 seconds does not make him a top 10-rated heavyweight, it makes him a fighter who beat Andrei Arlovski, who is prone to stupid mistakes such as going for a flying knee against an unfazed Fedor and throwing slow sloppy leg kicks on a young hungry fighter looking to make a name for himself.
I'm not one to doubt the potential of Brett Rogers, but I am one to doubt the fact that he was ready for such a stage after an impressive win over one top heavyweight.
Andrei Arlovski has the skill set to be a problem against anyone. For a brief moment, he was getting the better of Fedor, and he totally dominated some fat guy on Bully Beatdown. Though his knockouts of Ben Rothwell and Roy Nelson were impressive, his performances during the fights weren't. A
After watching both Arlovski/Rothwell and Arlovski/Nelson, "The Pit Bull" benefited from two fighters who don't like cardio and benefited from being a recognizable name as the ruler of weak UFC division during the time period when the Pride Heavyweight division reigned supreme. The best fighter he has ever beaten was Fabricio Werdum, and he has losses against former top dogs like Ricco Rodriguez, Perdro Rizzo, and Tim Sylvia.
Arlovski has a history of losing to top competition, leading me to conclude that Arlovski is more of a name than a fighter, and the promotional abilities of Affliction and Strikeforce took advantage and convinced us otherwise.
Was there ever a time when anyone was actually rooting for Tim Sylvia? I became somewhat a fan of his at UFC 39 watching his fight against Cabbage Correira and seeing a debuting "Maine-iac" being more than happy to punch the crap out of Cabbage, and Cabbage more than happy to block punches with his head. After that, I was never a fan of his and cheered loudly when he got schooled by Randy Couture.
Against Fedor, he was definitely on the slide, but he was another name that Affliction could sell. An attribute to his slide was getting knocked out by a 49-year-old Ray Mercer.
When you take an overall look at Fedor's record, he hasn't had a meaningful win since his 2005 fight over Mirko Cro Crop. Yet, he is the consensus number one heavyweight in the world, and I am stuck to wonder how.
To be the number one guy, you have to beat the top guys in the division, something his new contract with Strikeforce won't allow. Though Fedor has future opponents like Alistair Overeem, Fabrico Werdum, and Antonio Silva; is this really a lineup that Fedor established as the true number one?
The UFC heavyweight division is supreme right now, with fighters such as Frank Mir, Brock Lesnar, Antonio Rodrigo Noueira, Shan Carwin, Cain Velasquez, Junior Dos Santos, and Cheik Congo waiting and willing to fight each other, how is the king of this hill not considered as the top heavyweight?
The great thing about fighting is that the questions get settled in the ring, not on paper.
With multiple MMA promotions out there, and some gaining a stronger foothold in the US, it is going to get harder and harder to find and name the linear champion. Yet, the best shouldn't be determined by who looks great fighting lesser competition, but who wins against the stiffest competition.
As 2010 nears, we should have a clearer picture of who will be reigning on top of the heavyweight division, and at the end of 2010, it will not be Fedor Emelianenko.
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