The Top 10 Threats To Fedor Emelianenko (and 12 Non-Threats)

Darren WongSenior Analyst IMarch 2, 2010

NEW YORK - JANUARY 20:  Heavyweight mixed martial arts champion Fedor 'The Last Emperor' Emelianenko of Russia attends the 'Day of Reckoning' press conference at Trump Tower January 20, 2009 in New York City.  (Photo by Joe Corrigan/Getty Images)
Joe Corrigan/Getty Images

Simply putting forth one single name of a fighter who could beat Fedor Emelianenko is enough to spawn 10 pages of feverish anger in your favorite MMA forum, but despite fan-created images and videos to the contrary Fedor is human and therefore is not actually invincible.

Not many people are going to stand much of a chance against "The Last Emperor," but there are some guys who at the present time would at least have a decent shot at pulling off the upset.

Also included is a list of fighters who really don't have as much of a shot at pulling it off, even though some people think that these fighters do have a shot.  This second part was written by a Fedor fan who wishes to remain anonymous.

10 Fighters Who Could Beat Fedor

10: Muhammed Lawal

How could a fighter with only six fights stand a chance against Fedor?

Lawal has power in his hands, and if he can get Fedor on his back, there's a real chance that he can unleash enough violence to cut up Fedor's skin and force a stoppage.

Unlike some other wrestlers in MMA, Lawal seems very intent upon learning submission defense, which he would need against Fedor.

9: Frank Mir

The problem for Mir has usually been one of physical conditioning. Despite having his way in the second fight with Wes Sims, Mir nearly wound up in deep trouble in the fight when he appeared gassed after only a few minutes of fighting.

He's also a bit of a plodding striker, but if he lands something going forward, he hurts people.

Improved size, strength, and cardio would really help Mir against Emelianenko, as he'd have a chance of landing something on the feet, or possibly even working for a submission if the fight reached the ground.

8: Quinton Jackson

Jackson has the boxing, heavy hands, good chin, and defensive wrestling to cause Emelianenko some real trouble.

If Jackson can land hands on Emelianenko, there's a chance that he can knock him out. Having a good chin and good defensive wrestling might also give him enough time to land that KO punch.

Jackson's biggest weakness against Fedor would be his submission defense, but if he can avoid the ground, he might be able to have some real success.

7: Junior Dos Santos

Dos Santos possesses similar problems as Jackson, although we've yet to really see Dos Santos's wrestling put to the test inside the Octagon.

That won't matter if he can land even a few solid punches on Fedor's chin. Easier said than done, but I'd give Dos Santos about as good of a chance of doing that as anyone in MMA.

6: Alistair Overeem

When Overeem was getting beaten up by guys like Chuck Liddell, he was more than 20 lbs lighter than he is currently, and he was having issues with his conditioning.

Overeem's conditioning has looked better recently, like in his K-1 fight against Peter Aerts, and being huge is definitely always an advantage.

Fedor had some issues dealing with Brett Roger's sheer size, and against Overeem he'd have that same issue to deal with, along with the fact that Overeem possesses better grappling and a wider variety of striking weapons than Rogers.

5: Anderson Silva

Lethal striking offense is what Silva brings to the table.

All but the most deranged of Fedor fans are willing to admit that Silva would have a significant striking advantage over Emelianenko.

The only problem for Silva is that Emelianenko would probably run a clinic on Silva if he was able to take Silva to the mat.

4: Shane Carwin

Like Mir, Carwin is a bit of a plodder, so I'm afraid that he's likely to get burned up on the feet against Fedor. Nevertheless, that much size and power combined with wrestling skills and submission defense is enough to threaten Fedor.

3: Lyoto Machida

Lyoto Machida is, in my opinion, the most-likely fighter to beat Fedor outside of the heavyweight division.

When it comes to grappling, Machida brings very underrated wrestling and submission grappling skills. Because of that, he's going to be hard to take down, and difficult to finish on the ground.

On the feet, Machida has really only shown vulnerability to Shogun's leg kicks, and aside from that, he's hardly even been hit.

In my opinion, this fight would all be about Fedor's casting punch vs Machida's leaping left hand counter punches.

2: Cain Velasquez

Velasquez has already been touted by many as the future of the heavyweight division. I'm not sure if I've jumped fully on the bandwagon, but this guy has got loads of talent.

Despite being smashed repeatedly in his fight against Kongo, I don't think the same thing would happen against Emelianenko, and I also believe that Velasquez has enough of a chin to last a while on the feet.

Velasquez's wrestling would also present a serious offensive threat against Emelianenko, as I think there's a good chance he could take Fedor down and possibly even end the fight there.

The new breed of MMA wrestlers is one far more versed in submissions than the old one including Kevin Randleman and Mark Coleman. I don't see Emelianenko having an easy time trying to submit Velasquez.

Having nearly limitless cardio will also help keep Velasquez out of danger, and if he can get in the driver's seat, he might even be able to tire out Emelianenko.

1: Brock Lesnar

Lesnar possesses similar threats as Velasquez, although probably less technique and conditioning.

But while Lesnar may not be as versatile as Velasquez, he makes up for his deficiencies with size, reach, and power.

Lesnar should rightly be outclassed on the feet against Emelianenko, but his extremely long reach and power present unusual obstacles for Emelianenko on the feet.

On the ground, I wouldn't be surprised if Lesnar simply crushed Emelianenko with his size and power.

Next Page: 12 Fighters With Little Chance Against Fedor

12 Fighters With Little Chance Against Fedor

12: Josh Barnett

Steroids or no steroids, Barnett is going to have trouble dealing with Fedor because he doesn't have the tools to finish him, and Barnett will eventually crumble against Fedor's offense.

11. Jeff Monson

Maybe Jeff Monson can take Fedor down to the ground, but if he does, he's going to have to do it at least five times and hold on for dear life.

It ain't going to happen.

10. Dan Henderson

Henderson talks like he could beat Fedor, but he doesn't have the requisite skills.

He's got power in his right hand, but he's not going to catch him throwing the same punch over and over and over again.

He's also fairly small, and lacks the ground savvy to stay out of submission trouble if Fedor takes him down.

9: Thiago Silva

Decent striking and a BJJ black belt are nice, but being a walking target and having zero takedown defense is a recipe for disaster against Fedor.

8: Jon Jones

Maybe in a few years Jones could be a threat to anybody, but right now I just don't have enough faith in Jones' striking, and I haven't seen enough of his work on the ground to be convinced that he could trouble Fedor there.

7. Brandon Vera

Vera has good striking and enough wrestling to keep the fight on the feet for a while, but he's shown little power in his hands, and his work rate isn't high enough to really put any pressure on Fedor.

Maybe he'll show improvements against Jones to prove otherwise, but I've been waiting on Vera for too long.

6. Mauricio Rua

Until the Machida fight, I would have discounted Rua's chances simply because he fights too recklessly to beat Fedor.

Now that he's shown more patience, I'd still say that he'll be in trouble due to what would happen if Fedor took him down.

5. Andrei Arlovski

Some people say that Fedor got lucky when he fought Arlovski, but it wasn't luck. No matter what, Andrei Arlovski was going to make mistakes and open up his guard.

If Arlovski fights Fedor again, the same thing will likely happen, and Arlovski doesn't have the chin to recover.

4. Rickson Gracie

No, the correct answer is NOT "Rickson via armbar."

3. Fabricio Werdum

Fabricio Werdum was tailor-made to get beat up and destroyed by Fedor.

Werdum can't take Fedor down, and he's going to get pwned on the feet. He'll get PWNED!!!111

2. Gegard Mousasi

Fedor Jr. doesn't stand a chance against Big Papa.

Let's be honest, Mousasi was a good middleweight, but he hasn't even beaten anybody relevant at light-heavyweight yet, and was getting ragdolled by Sokoudjou until Sokoudjou got his usual cue to exit the building halfway through the second round.

He doesn't have the skills to keep the fight on the feet for long against Fedor, and he's not going to land that hail-mary upkick knockout on Fedor, nor is Fedor going to Denis-Kang his way into a triangle.

1. Randy Couture

You can't beat Fedor by leaning him up against a fence for five rounds, and getting the "Captain America" gift of a judges' decision.

Sure, the cage works against Fedor, but Fedor is good at staying off the fence, and on the ground, Couture is vulnerable to both sweeps and submission attempts as we saw against Nogueira.

Also like we saw against Nogueira, Couture doesn't have the offensive artillery to even bother Fedor on the feet.

Fedor wins this fight 99 times out of 100.

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