Ever since failing to sign Russian PRIDE FC legend Fedor Emelianenko, UFC president Dana White has made sure to remind everyone of his opinion on The Last Emperor.
Especially over the 34-year-old’s last three fights, which have all ended in his defeat. For the first time in his storied career, Emelianenko has not only been defeated emphatically, but it’s happened three times in a row.
Staunchly opposed to the idea that Fedor is now, or ever was, the greatest mixed martial arts fighter to have ever competed, White often uses Emelianenko’s recent defeats as cannon fodder in his slow-burning feud with the stoic warrior and his management team M-1 Global.
Last night at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, Fedor took home his third consecutive loss courtesy fellow PRIDE vet Dan Henderson, who took him out in the first round of their heated scrap via TKO. Saying before the fight that a loss to Hendo — who normally competes as a middleweight or light heavyweight — would be further proof of Emelianenko’s overblown reputation, White took to his Twitter post-fight to reinforce his take on The Last Emperor.
“Michael Jordan of MMA!? Dumbest thing ever said!!! So stupid,” he wrote.
Whether or not White or Chael Sonnen buy into his legendary status, the fact remains that Emelianenko has displayed true spirit, courage and determination throughout his professional career and — in an era where many fighters play it safe and come to win rather than fight — should be revered for as much. Fedor went for broke and left it all in the cage against Henderson, which is more than can be said for the host of fighters who seemingly never bring it to the cage in the first place.