Rumors are flying that Fedor Emelianenko is considering a drop down to 205 pounds to challenge for the Strikeforce light heavyweight title. The Russian has long been considered the top heavyweight in the world, but after two consecutive losses in the division, his options have begun to run thin. A drop to 205 would rejuvenate his career and provide some intriguing match-ups.
But who do we want to see Fedor matched up with in a perfect world? All fighters from all organizations would be available for Fedor in this dream scenario.
The former UFC light heavyweight champion is a gamer, through and through. Griffin is a complete mixed martial artist without a hole in his overall skill set. He possesses the striking, wrestling and Jiu-Jitsu to hang with practically everyone in the sport.
Griffin would stand as a stern challenge for The Last Emperor and introduce him nicely to the 205-pound division. Would Emelianenko be able to knock out Griffin standing or would Griffin be able to grind out a decision? Regardless of what happens, it would be an intriguing bout.
Another former UFC light heavyweight champion, Evans would provide another stern test for Emelianenko. His combination of wrestling and defensive Jiu-Jitsu would be tough for Emelianenko to overcome. Evans, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, is excellent at avoiding submissions and surviving on top.
The fight gets really interesting once the third round hits. Evans has a history of gassing in the third stanza, as he was rocked by Thiago Silva and Rampage Jackson during their bouts. Neither one was able to capitalize on a hurt Evans, but Emelianenko definitely would.
Joe Rogan welcomed fans into the "Machida Era" shortly after he dethroned Rashad Evans in 2009. It didn't last long.
Machida has fallen on hard times after losses to Shogun Rua and Rampage Jackson, but he is still a top fighter at 205 pounds. His signature elusive fighting style could potentially give Emelianenko fits, as the Russian would try to hunt down Machida.
Machida has excellent takedowns and an excellent ground game as well, making him a handful anywhere the fight were to take place. Fedor could always clip him just once, like Shogun did, but he would have to catch him first.
The next challenger to the light heavyweight belt is amazingly only 23 years old. Jon Jones has had a meteoric rise to the top of the 205 division, and a matchup with Emelianenko may be a dream fight in a year or two down the line.
As it stands, Jones is too inexperienced and has too many question marks about him to warrant a higher spot in the rankings. Jones is a phenomenal wrestling talent with devastating ground n' pound, but his striking is far from where it needs to be. A solid shot from Emelianenko could put down the young pup with ease.
However, if Jones got the fight to the ground, he could do some serious damage with his elbows.
A couple of years ago this would have easily been No. 1 on the list, but Emelianenko has faded too much to be considered a serious threat to The Spider.
As Fedor has continued to age, he has slowed down considerably in both his striking and overall skill set. Don't get it confused, Emelianenko could still stand and trade with almost anyone in the mixed martial arts world, but Anderson Silva is just too much at this time. Silva would run circles around the Russian with his lightning-fast hands and cat-like reflexes.
Of course, this is MMA, where anything could happen.
The Strikeforce light heavyweight may be one of the next big things in the division. He got outwrestled by King Mo to lose his title, but his skills are far superior in every other aspect of MMA.
Mousasi is a gifted striker, with both professional boxing and kickboxing fights to his resume. His judo is top notch and his Jiu-Jitsu is coming along very nicely.
A Mousasi/Emelianenko fight would be fun simply for their well roundedness; unfortunately, the fight may never be made. Mousasi has commented on his desire to train with Emelianenko, and everyone knows what happens when training partners are asked to fight.
The newly crowned Strikeforce light heavyweight champion is a legend in the sport and a fight with Emelianenko would be absolutely amazing.
Henderson has the pedigree and the experience to give any fighter problems, especially Emelianenko. His Olympic wrestling and dynamite right hand would give anyone trouble.
The only true question mark would be if Emelianenko could sub Henderson off of his back or if Emelianenko could be the first man to finish Henderson with strikes.
Two former Pride superstars going at inside the cage? Two of the best mixed martial artists of all time deciding which one is supreme?
That's what would happen if Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and Fedor Emelianenko ever squared off. Both of their histories link back to the Japanese Pride Fighting Championship, providing an intriguing back story for this dream fight.
Both of their striking games are amongst the best in MMA, which should lead to a riveting bout. Couple their striking prowess with both of their indomitable chins and you have the ingredients for an outstanding bout.
Everything from the previous slide figures into the equation too if Rampage Jackson were to ever meet the Russian legend.
However, Jackson seems to also be on the tail end of mixed martial arts career effectively leveling the playing field in this dream match-up. Shogun is too young and too good right now to be beaten by Fedor, but Jackson has seemed to slow down in recent years.
Both fighters would look to stand and trade. Both fighters are often thought of instantly when the term hardest hitting fighter is brought up. If Quinton Jackson and Fedor Emelianenko were to ever met it would be absolute fireworks.
The original dream match-up for Fedor, just scaled down to 205. Both fighters are nearing the end of the career.
Sure Fedor would likely knockout Couture easily but seeing these two living legends in the cage at the same time, after all these years, would be mesmerizing. It would truly be a site to behold.