Despite the decade-long controversy surrounding Fedor Emelianenko's true rank amongst all other fighters in the world, one thing is for sure.
He captured the attention of every MMA fan.
Fabricio Werdum took advantage of an overconfident Fedor by capitalizing off of a dangling left arm. This turned into Fedor being brought into a deep triangle choke and forced to tap.
The impact of the loss was evident on Fedor's face once the ref ended the fight. This will no doubt eat at him as any loss eats at superior fighters— especially those who have win percentages similar to Fedor's 96 percent going into the Werdum match.
As for what happened, Fedor was overconfident, plain and simple, and he legitimately lost. Being that Werdum was a world champion grappler, Fedor should have done everything he could to keep his arm out of Werdum's grasp.
In a way, though, this might be the fuel Fedor needed to expand his horizons as now he will be doubted by everyone, at least to a small degree.
It wouldn't be fair to say that Fedor's ego has been deflated, for he evidently has very little ego at all. However, this loss will not go quietly into the night. Fedor will make sure to set things straight.
With a reputation built on legitimate wins against decent fighters, Fedor lost to a guy who went 2 for 4 in the UFC. Although talented, Werdum is not an exceptional fighter as he lost to Big Nog, Junior Dos Santos and Andrei Arlovski, three of the best heavyweights to ever enter the Octagon.
It has been proven that Fedor is not omnipotent, contrary to his worshippers' claims. Fedor lost to a fighter that certainly isn't ranked in the top five heavyweights of the world.
What does this mean? M-1 doesn't have to keep Fedor's reputation sealed. The seal has been broken. Being that he's a free agent, Fedor can go anywhere.
Think about that.
He can go anywhere ...
M-1 made a big deal about getting partial ownership of the UFC. Now they may actively try to pursue an agreement on fairer terms. The motivation for such a deal? Fedor.
Fedor could have spoken up in the negotiations with the UFC. At the time he didn't have to. He claimed he would fight anyone in the world, that it didn't matter. Now it does matter.
After an eventual rematch with Werdum, it will be interesting to see if Fedor really doesn't care if others consider him to be the best fighter in the world.
Now, fans can rest assured that M-1 will no longer be able to hide behind the seal of Fedor's reputation as Werdum ruined any such possibility of doing so.
This may inspire Fedor to try to prove he's the best in the world by facing the best that the world has to offer. This includes fighters in the UFC.
Whereas Fedor was hinting toward retirement, at least now a window for alternative possibilities is open. It will be interesting to see what happens next.