Fedor Emelianenko: 5 Fighters We Would Still Love To See Him Face
Photo by Esther Lin/Strikeforce
Fedor Emelianenko announced he may be retiring in his post-fight interview after suffering his second consecutive loss versus Antonio Silva.
He called it "God's will."
If he really does decide to retire, there is a good chance we won't be seeing him ever again. This is disappointing considering there are many opponents we have never seem him face that would still be appealing to the fans.
The part of him that has seemed to have been lost is the invincibility he once carried; the idea that he could never be hurt or lose to an opponent he was expected to beat.
After being dominated by Antonio Silva in the second round, his last and final moment in MMA may have been his darkest.
If he fights again, it will be to not go out on a loss, and the opponent he chooses to face would have to reflect his desire to show the fans that he is always what they thought he was‒the greatest fighter to ever compete in MMA.
Alistair Overeem (34-11)
This potential match up was the main goal of the Strikeforce tournament: Fedor Emelianenko vs. Alistair Overeem. It would have been the main event of a PPV and launched Strikeforce into the next level of mainstream attention and credibility.
It can still happen, and it can still be part of a major Showtime PPV. It would just need more than average support by the MMA community. A lot of fans are still interested in seeing this fight, and it would do wonders for both fighters' careers.
If Overeem defeats "The Last Emperor," it would define his career of 50 MMA and kick-boxing bouts combined.
If Emelianenko beats "The Demolition Man," he could go out on an extraordinary victory to end a legendary career.
This fight has a good chance of happening if Overeem doesn't make it through the tournament. If he falls short of that goal, the match with Emelianenko could come quicker then expected.
Brock Lesnar (5-2)
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Everyone remembers the rant Lesnar had during the announcement that he would be fighting Couture:
"Who gives a **** about Fedor Emelianenko? I'm sick and tired of sitting on the phone listening about Fedor. Who ****ing gives a ****?"
In a conference call before his UFC 116 bout, he had more to say about Emelianenko's defeat versus Werdum that happened a week before:
"Good for Fedor. I hope he does retire. He's the greatest champion ever, of all-time, in his own little world. Good for him."
When Emelianenko was asked about Lesnar and Bobby Lashley as possible opponents, he responded kindly "I would be glad to fight them. I never fought anyone like them."
Part of his response is correct, and that makes this fight even more intriguing. Would he be able to handle a fighter that isn't as skilled but holds a tremendous weight advantage? Antonio Silva proved he couldn't, but Lesnar isn't as all-around skilled as Silva.
It's the ultimate good vs. bad match-up featuring the best of both worlds.
Randy Couture (19-10)
Unless people are satisfied with seeing them only fight in the EA Sports MMA video game, this may be the most talked about fight that never happened.
Both fighters met in 2008 for a photo shoot of a possible fight to take place under the Affliction banner. The company eventually folded after their Trilogy event was canceled in 2009.
Couture may be the best opponent for Emelianenko to face in the heavyweight division as of now. His problem is going to be against the biggest guys in the division, and Couture is not one of them.
They are two of the most respected fighters in the sport, and that is what this fight would be about. What makes it a good fight for both is that win or lose, their respect among each other and fans will go down in history as the defining moment of what the sport is all about.
Cain Velasquez (9-0)
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Velasquez has called a fight with Emelianenko "the ultimate thing to do." That was before Emelianenko's losses occurred, but it is probably still the ultimate thing to do on every heavyweight's list.
It is always fun to hear the young stars of the sport say they want to fight the legends they grew up watching.
This is the ultimate match between a UFC champion and the most popular heavyweight not in the UFC.
Emelianenko holds wins over five former UFC champions and was at the top of the division for seven years. Velasquez has been at the top of the division since defeating Brock Lesnar last October.
Velasquez is one of the most well-rounded heavyweights the UFC has to offer, and since he is undefeated, has yet to meet an opponent who is capable of beating him. His demeanor is similar to Emelianenko's. Both are quiet, stoic and respectful towards their opponents.
Both only look to fight and defeat whoever is put in front of them. This fight would be no different but would mean so much more.
Fabricio Werdum (14-4)
It was the biggest upset of 2010. It was quick and decisive yet something about it warrants a rematch. It was a fight that started the end of an era.
When Werdum submitted Emelianenko in June of last year, fans across the world were astonished at the scene they had just witnessed. It was the "Last Emperor's" first defeat in over 10 years, and the first "real" loss of his MMA career.
So why should their be a rematch?
If Emelianenko is looking for one last fight, a fight that he can win and exit the sport with, this is the one to aim for. It would tell us if his focus is really concentrated on fighting. Would he make the same mistakes twice? What would he do differently in approaching Werdum's guard or would he avoid it at all costs?
If Werdum pulls off the victory again, he will have been the only fighter to ever claim two victories over the greatest fighter to ever compete in MMA. He already has two victories over the Emelianenko brothers, but a third would solidify his position as one of the best heavyweights.