Fedor: Baddest Man On The Planet?
This week, a one hour show documenting the training, and background of MMA fighter Fedor Emelianenko aired on FSN. The show was titled “Fedor: Baddest Man On The Planet”, but I really have to question that title at this point. Yes, Fedor is 29-1 with his only loss coming by a cut in a promotion that stopped the fight if you were cut, regardless of the severity of that cut. Yes, he’s fought a who’s who of fighters over his career. But, lets take a look at the last three and half years of that career. He has fought three legitimate opponents in that time frame, which that number is even up to debate. The three I include as legitimate are CroCop in August of 2005, Matt Lindland (who normally fights at 185 lbs), and Big Doofy (aka Tim Sylvia). A lot of people don’t even deem Tim Sylvia a legitimate opponent for the “Pound for Pound” best fighter in the world. As a matter of fact, Sylvia had a 1-2 record on his last three fights going into the Fedor fight, the one win coming against an undersized, and recently under performing, Brandon Vera. So, that takes it down to two legit opponents, but as I already mentioned, Lindland fights at 185lbs, so he was considerably undersized against Fedor, but in actuality, did pretty well against him before Fedor grabbed the ropes long enough to get top position on Lindland, and eventually submitting him.
Fedor has consistently taken six months off between fights, and fought lower caliber fighters since that August 2005 fight with CroCrop. He also keeps sustaining mysterious hand injuries in his fights. Then we have to consider that, outside of Quinton Jackson, most of the former PRIDE fighters that have made their way to the UFC have been less than impressive. Jackson, is the exception to that rule, I believe, because he is a far better fighter now than he ever was in PRIDE. This calls into question the actual ability of many of Fedor’s previous opponents, further diminishing his record.
Fedor’s fight Saturday, with Andrei Arlovski will go a long way in restoring some of his mystic, if he can pick up the victory. However, Arlovski himself was cut from the UFC. I personally think that there are at least three fighters in the UFC that could beat Fedor, if not more. I even think that Matt Lindland would have done better in the Octagon than he did in their fight, which took place in a ring.
Fedor is a bad man, and he has a strong record to back that, but in this writer’s opinion, his most recent fights have not served to further the mystic that he is the “baddest man on the planet.” Also, the recent record of many of his previous opponents in PRIDE serves to dull some of the luster of those victories. In order to regain some of that mystic, Fedor needs to either fight Josh Barnett, or drop his managers and sign the exclusive contract to fight in the UFC (and win) … that is, if he gets past the Pitbull Saturday. A loss Saturday would clearly support the claims of this article, and firmly remove the “baddest man on the planet” title from Fedor’s shoulders.