“But there is no joy in Stary Oskol, the mighty Fedor has tapped out.”
Fedor walks to the cage with his stoic, emotionless look. He walks in the cage ready to do his job that he has been successful at for the last 10 years. The ring announcer gives a colossal introduction as Fedor gives the same one-armed hello that he has 31 times before. He steps forward to face his opponent, giving him the utmost respect, he doesn’t stare him down with infuriated anger he simply looks downward. The ref asks if they would like to touch gloves and both fighters oblige without hesitation. As the ref asks if the fighters are ready Fedor, as always, gives both his ears and his chest a forceful slap as if to awaken the sleeping fury inside himself. We see the years of cuts and bruises plastered on his heavily scar tissued mug.
The fight begins and Fedor walks forward aggressively to set up his own timing and distance for this particular bout. He begins to bounce on his feet showing the agility and speed that has carried him to be considered the best fighter of all time.
His opponent throws an inside low kick that he is only able to graze Fedor’s leg ever so slightly with his toes as Fedor demonstrates his off the charts reflexive abilities. After backing up to avoid the kick, Fedor immediately goes back in to attack mode and stalks his prey further. After some distance issues Fedor finds his range landing a lightning fast left hook, right hook, left hook, right hook combination. Not a combination that is widely regarded as effective. His opponent drops from the onslaught. Fedor smells blood and goes in for the kill.
Recklessly, he reigns down punches into the guard of a grappling overlord. His opponent has a high guard and is able to lock in an armbar, but who are we kidding, Fedor twists his hips and body out like a lightweight while sending some unwanted hammer fists to his opponents brain. Fedor twists some more while bouncing off the largely unfamiliar environment of a caged fence. His opponent shows great instincts and pulls a high guard into a triangle/armbar submission.
Everyone has seen this before as Fedor stays alive and is going to be out any minute. The choke is deep and Fedor is visibly turning purple. Fedor gives one reluctant, but forceful tap, perhaps switching between the emotions of giving away his impenetrable aura of intimidation and relieving 10 years of absolutely insane pressure to never fail.
There you have it, if you take away the last paragraph that’s how Fedor has fought his whole career. Fedor Emelianenko is the best MMA fighter I have ever seen. He lost to probably the second best BJJ heavyweight practitioner of all-time(Marcio “Pe De Pano” Cruz is #1) to a submission. The guy has basically never lost before this so we have no barometer to measure what he will do next.
Will he be angered and want to come back with a vengeance or will he think it’s no big deal? We don’t know. What we do know is that he has the greatest body of accomplishments of any heavyweight ever and if he retired tomorrow he would hold on to that for a very long time.
What’s important is that so many of us expected this level of perfection forever that is literally unimaginable and unattainable in this sport. His sort of god like status is virtually gone now and the Carwin/Lesnar matchup will determine who is the best heavyweight at this point in time. Even though I would still pick Fedor to be competitive and possibly win against both of them.
Fedor is still in the top 5 and he still is a once in a lifetime athlete. The perfection is done, but the story is far from over in the career of Fedor Emelianenko. If he does decide to retire you just have to tip your cap and say thanks for the memories as he has done things in the ring that may never be matched. As for Fabricio “Emelianenko Slayer” Werdum, I couldn’t be more happy for someone who was ousted(well he couldn’t come to a contract agreement) by Zuffa and still got an opportunity to show his skills and seize the greatest moment of his career.