On Saturday, Fedor "The Last Emperor" Emelianenko and his considerable star power will help Strikeforce kick off its World Grand Prix Heavyweight Tournament in beautiful East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Silva—that's Antonio "Big Foot" Silva for the uninitiated—will be the first step toward sorting out the morass atop the organization's 265-pounders. Some argue the merits of Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion Alistair "Demolition Man" Overeem. Others point to the man who handed the Fedor his first real defeat, Fabricio "Vai Cavalo" Werdum as the real bopper to beat.
And there are always those pesky wild cards.
Sergei Kharitonov might be slated for his Strikeforce debut this weekend, but the Russian is a grizzled veteran of mixed martial arts with wins over both Overeem and Werdum. Additionally, Josh Barnett might figure in the equation if he can pass enough drug tests.
Not to mention the dark horses and reserves who'll also be waiting in the wings should the favorites stumble.
Despite all the uncertainty and what-ifs, the biggest question has to be the one looming over the Russian Experiment.
Ever since the modern evolution of MMA started in earnest with the emergence of the Ultimate Fighting Championship from its dark ages, the new school has been casting doubt on Emelianenko and his prior accomplishments. To be fair, it had an argument—while the UFC heavyweight waters got deeper and deeper, Fedor was conspicuous in his absence.
Instead the once-undisputed pound-for-pound king toiled around the edges in freak show fights or matched against wilting warriors in the twilight of relevancy.
But then Strikeforce embraced Fedor and its own heavyweight division began to develop. Now, he's got real challengers in front of him, and it's time to see if the Last Emperor is still fit for the throne.
As a primer for Emelianenko's fateful run—and a reminder for all his doubters—here are his 10 best submissions of all time.