Fedor Emelianenko's Greatest Fights: The Definitive YouTube Collection
Since his surprise loss to Fabricio Werdum, the bloom is off the rose a little for Fedor Emelianenko.
But even as Anderson Silva and Georges St. Pierre surpass him in all those pound-for-pound discussions, the fact remains that the man is still a spine-tingling wrecking machine.
That his pulse never seems to rise above 60 bpm as he wreaks his havoc, and that he more than slightly resembles a beet farmer who stumbled into a surprisingly lucrative side hobby, just compounds his mystique.
Now, just a couple of quick ice ages after his loss, Fedor has a new contract with Strikeforce and is set to return to action this weekend against Antonio Silva.
To help commemorate the occasion, we scoured the web to find video clips of his 10 greatest fights. Please enjoy.
10. Fedor Emelianenko Vs. Hong-Man Choi, 2007
Every Fedor list has to include this fight. Go ahead, look it up. I'll wait.
In chopping down and submitting his 7'2" carnival escapee of an opponent, Fedor reminds me of the eighth dwarf, Crazy, upon his release from state custody. Adorable!
9. Fedor Emelianenko Vs. Tim Sylvia, 2008
(Note: the actual fight starts at the 4:25 mark...yes, the intros are much longer than the fight.)
Was Tim Sylvia washed up before this fight, or was it this fight that fully did him in? Impossible to know for sure, but at the time, plenty of people were predicting a fall from grace for Fedor at the hands of a relatively recent UFC title holder.
Those people were wrong. So very, very, very, very wrong, and mistaken. Look at the cold fury with which Fedor dispatches Sylvia. As usual, his facial expression never changes.
8. Fedor Emelianko Vs. Andrei Arlovski, 2009
(Note: fight starts at the 4:57 mark, finale comes at 8:05 -- don't blink)
Another ex-UFC champ, another notch on The Last Emperor's belt.
This one is noteworthy because Arlovski was probably winning. All it took was one mistake, and Arlovski was eating mat. And that's classic Fedor -- you just don't get a second chance.
7. Fedor Emelianenko Vs. Brett Rogers, 2009
Like knockouts? Try this one on for size. Fedor Emelianenko proved he was ready for his closeup with this vicious right hand, delivered on CBS.
6. Fedor Emelianenko Vs. Heath Herring, 2002
Victories are rarely as thorough as this one. Within seconds, Herring is fetal. He even tries to climb out of the ring at one point. If it wasn't for that horrendous haircut, I might almost feel sorry for him.
5. Fedor Emelianko Vs. Kevin Randleman, 2004
In the 2004 Pride Grand Pric quarterfinals, Randleman goes all Rampage on Fedor, slamming him on his head with a suplex worthy of Arn Anderson.
But in another classic Fedor moment, the champ keeps his head and works around for the kimura and the tapout. Who else could turn that once-in-a-decade slam into an advantage? Simply mind-bending.
4. Fedor Emelianenko Vs. Gary Goodridge, 2003
The best part of this dismantling comes when Fedor clinches the match with "soccer kicks," a nice euphemism for literally kicking someone in the head while they're down (fast forward to 2:25 if you want to get right to the business).
3. Fedor Emelianenko Vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira I, 2003
For MMA, 2003 might as well have been the era when cars still started by hand crack and indoor plumbing was reserved for sultans. But it was the year Fedor made his first definitive mark on the sport in winning the Pride heavyweight title from Big Nog.
Not only did Fedor beat Nogueira, he beat him soundly. No small feat considering Nog was on a 13-fight win streak and had finished Dan Henderson in his previous contest.
This was the first of their three-fight war, which ended with two wins for Fedor and one no contest.
2. Fedor Emelianenko Vs. Kazuyuki Fujita, 2003
Fujita came into this one looking a lot like the villain in a James Bond movie, while as usual Fedor looked like the guy who moves the set pieces.
No matter. Fedor took serious damage in this one, but wills himself to a final flourish of combat mastery that secures one of the greatest triumphs of his career. Just an absolutely epic brawl.
1. Fedor Emelianenko Vs. Mirko Cro Cop, 2005
Cro Cop had Fedor dead to rights. His nose was broken, his midsection was cubed steak, but Fedor and his cold, cold blood just refused to lose. He took the fight to the mat, where he seemed to draw strength from the ground. He pulled out the unanimous decision victory.
This one is a true clash between two titans at the peak of their powers. Not only Fedor's greatest fight, but on the short list of candidates for greatest fight in MMA history. I never get tired of watching this one.