Fedor Emelianenko Should Beat Fabrico Werdum, but Can He Actually Submit Him?

Brian OswaldMMA Editor December 22, 2009

NEW YORK - JANUARY 20:  Heavyweight mixed martial arts champion Fedor 'The Last Emperor' Emelianenko of Russia attends the 'Day of Reckoning' press conference at Trump Tower January 20, 2009 in New York City.  (Photo by Joe Corrigan/Getty Images)
Joe Corrigan/Getty Images

Strikeforce President Scott Coker recently put the MMA world on notice:

Fedor Emelianenko will return for his sophomore Strikeforce effort in April on their “Saturday Night Fights” primetime extravaganza on CBS.

His opponent with be exiled UFC fighter Fabrico Werdum. Werdum made his Strikeforce debut on the same fight card as Fedor, his antagonist on that November evening was the hard-hitting Antonio “Bigfoot” Siva.

Werdum’s showing was impressive in that he would go on to neutralize the acerbic striking of Silva and pull off the decision win. But it certainly wasn’t the kind of act which left anyone believing he can upend the greatest mixed martial artist of all time.

Since most fans will scoff at the suggestion that Werdum is a threat to Fedor’s supremacy,what interesting speculation can we attach to this fight?

How about the notion that Fedor Emelianenko can submit Fabrico Werdum.

To fully digest the statement, you have to appreciate the grappling prowess of both fighters.

Sixteen of Fedor’s thirty-one wins have come via submission. One only has to experience his fight with Kevin Randleman to gain an appreciation for this stoic Russian’s technique.

Werdum is no slouch on the ground himself; the Brazilian is a two-time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world champion, a two-time ADCC world heavyweight champion and European Jiu-Jitsu champion.

It is safe to assume that if either of these two got into a street fight, their victim would be going home with their limb seperated from the rest of his body. Fedor might just put a hole in their face if he didn’t feel like dirtying up his favorite sweater (pictured above).

Back to the question at hand, could the baddest man on the planet do what no MMA fighter has done thus far and submit Fabrico Werdum?

Let’s go back in time and look for any incriminating evidence.

Exhibit A: Antonio Rodrigo "Minotauro" Nogueira—only the second greatest MMA heavyweight in the sport next to you know who,also one of the greatest BJJ artists to boot.

Both Fedor and Fabrico locked horns with the legend; Fedor twice, with all three fights taking place under the PRIDE banner (Fedor actually fought Nogueira three times, but one ended in a no contest—accidental head butt). All three of those fights also ended in a no decision, with no man able to sink in a submission.

It is worth pointing out that Nogueira was in his prime when Fedor took him on; also Nogueira has not been submitted in 39 MMA fights. Werdum is up to 18 fights without a submission, it is unknown whether or not he is in his prime.

Exhibit B: Werdum’s BJJ — Werdum’s MMA resume is littered with submission victories but two jump out. His Arm Triangle Choke over Aleksander Emelianenko, Fedor’s brother, and his Kimura over current Strikeforce Champion Alistair Overeem.

Aleksander is a very good MMA fighter is his own right, with his only other submission loss coming to Josh Barnett and Overeem has only been submitted once in his 43 fight career, the Kimura loss to Werdum.

While this shows off Werdum’s BJJ offense more then his defense, it nonetheless shows off his superb skill set. If Fedor is to submit Werdum, it won't be early. It will have to be after battering him, since every punch to the face drops your belt level down a peg.

Exhibit C: Game plan— Beyond looking at past fights, from the game plan perspective, it is unlikely Fedor will want to engage Werdum in a grappling match. It is much more likely he will want to keep the fight standing and look for the dramatic knockout.

It would seem the only way this fight even finds its way to the ground, is if Werdum somehow pulls guard or Fedor floors his opponent with a strike, decides to be adventurous, and goes for the mount.

So while Fedor submitting Werdum is unlikely, it is something worth pondering to keep your interest levels elevated;or even more far-fetched, could Werdum submit Fedor?