The other day I was perusing the museum of artifacts otherwise known as a video store.
I was in the fight section, surveying some of the finest gems that the sports of boxing and MMA had to offer.
There was that infamous Tyson/Holyfield bout that saw Mike Tyson become - well - Mike Tyson.
There was a DVD from the epic showdown at UFC 52 between top stars Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture, while both in their primes.
There was even a documentary chronicling the historic events leading up to the Rumble in the Jungle, where boxing greats Muhammad Ali and George Foreman squared off in a timeless classic.
Then there was Fedor.
As I looked through the Fedor aisle of the fight section, something quickly became apparent to me. Not only were these DVD's produced by or affiliated with the same company (M-1 Global), but the entire aisle seemed to be devoid of any career defining, epic battle between Fedor Emeliananko and a legend of similar stature.
And they criticized Kimbo Slice for fighting "crackheads."
Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson gained viral notoriety for raw footage of fights against street toughs. The cleverly marketed Internet videos were distributed through adult video company SublimeDirectory.
They also earned him a contract with MMA promotion EliteXC.
Many MMA purists, who coincidentally happen to be Fedor apologists fans, scoffed at Slice's attempt at a legitimate MMA career and continue to do so to this day. And why not? He was basically fighting extras from The Wire.
So where, now, are these same critics when it comes to Fedor Emelianenko and his curious resume of recent fights?
Since his last fight with PrideFC, Fedor Emelianenko has been on a very short list of notable Pride Fighters never to have competed in the UFC since Pride folded in 2006.
Despite this fact, Fedor is still regarded as the best pound for pound heavyweight fighter in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts, on the strength of a dominant, yet distant, run in PrideFC, along with a recent string of one sided victories.
Sure, to the naked eye, Fedor is the best heavyweight in MMA. Yet reading between the lines tells a completely different story.
The following are Fedor's last five fights (Post-PrideFC) put into perspective:
Win over Matt Lindland at 2:58 of Round 1
Lindland was 36, had been dropped from the UFC, and was not exactly in his prime. Lindland is 2-2 since this fight.
Win over Hong Man Choi at 1:54 of Round 1
Hong Man Choi was much bigger than Fedor and was an accomplished kickboxer. Yet when one refrains from becoming romanced by this man's size, they should realize this was only Hong's second mixed martial arts fight.
It was Fedor's 31st.
It's also worth noting that Hong had lost his previous three K-1 Kickboxing fights, entering his bout with Fedor, and has gone 1-2 in Mixed Martial Arts since his fight with Fedor.
Win over Tim Sylvia at :36 of Round 1
Tim Sylvia was nothing more than an aging UFC cast off, walking into his funeral wearing black trunks and tattoos. He is also the only Fedor victim who has gone on to enjoy a winning record since fighting Fedor.
That winning record consists of him going 2-1 in Adrenaline MMA and Moosin: God of Martial Arts. Don't quote me on this one, but I'm pretty sure the latter was fought at an old folks home.
Funny, I've never heard of Cain Velasquez or Shane Carwin fighting under the Moosin: God of Martial Arts umbrella.
Win over Andrei Arlovski at 3:14 of Round 1
Andrei Arlovski had been cast off from the UFC, which has become attractive for potential Fedor suitors, and has gone on to an uninspiring 0-2 record since.
Win over Brett Rogers at 1:48 of Round 2
Although filled with potential, at that point, Brett Rogers was, and continues to be, very green.
Who is Brett Rogers?
It's worth noting that Rogers manhandled Fedor in round one, before Fedor regained his composure and went on to pick up a TKO victory. Brett Rogers went on to get manhandled himself by reigning Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion Alistair Overeem in the first round.
So it's only logical that Fedor fight Alistair in his next fight, right?
Run Fedor, RUN!
Fedor Emelianenko will set a new standard in running from elite competition, a testament to his excellent cardio, when he passes up current champion Alistair Overeem in favor of (wait for it) UFC castoff Fabricio Werdum.
Fabricio registered an unspectacular 2-2 record in the UFC before being released. He is not exactly a top tier heavyweight, as he just cracks the top ten in Sherdog's top ten Heavyweights.
At least Kimbo Slice, the previously mentioned street fighter whose name has become synonymous with the word "fraud," challenged himself by moving up a weight class from crackheads to kickboxers.
Hell, the man even tried his hand at UFC and worked his butt off.
But Fedor Emelianenko is beginning to show warning signs not only similar to that of Kimbo Slice at the height of his viral phenomena, but worse.
UFC President Dana White's efforts to sign Fedor have been highly publicized. White was rumored to have offered Fedor over $30 million to join the UFC, and has even publicly admitted to being obsessed with this mythical mauler.
However, as has become the case whenever any serious challenge is presented to a man widely considered to be the world's greatest fighter, Fedor Emelianenko used the "M-1 Global" excuse.
If UFC co-promotes with M-1 Global, Fedor will fight.
Right after Coca-Cola runs Pepsi ads on its website.
Where was this excuse when Fabricio Werdum was presented to Fedor? Where was the M-1 Global excuse when a lame duck Andrei Arlovski was served on Fedor's plate as an entree? Why do the cross trainers (created for running) slip on Fedor's feet all of a sudden whenever a serious threat is put forth?
And they criticized Kimbo Slice for fighting "crackheads."
The parallels between Kimbo Slice and Fedor Emelianenko are strikingly similar despite being borderline preposterous at first glance.
Kimbo was promoted almost exclusively before his eventual rise to MMA super stardom.
So was Fedor.
SublimeDirectory is M-1 Global.
Absolute Fedor DVD is Mad Man: Best of Kimbo Slice.
But let's be honest now. Surely, Fedor Emelianenko is no Kimbo Slice. Right?
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