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Monday, August 1, 2011

Swan Songs- Who our fading idols should fight next, and possibly last, Part 1: Fedor Emelianenko

Mirko Cro Cop. Wanderlei Silva. B.J. Penn. Fedor Emelianenko. These names have defined the sport of MMA in America and around the world for the past 15 years. They will all go down in history as Hall of Famers, originators, pioneers. Unfortunately, however naturally, these aging stars are no longer at the peak of their career. While all were dominant champions, many still expect them to perform to their perceived career peaks, it's just not possible anymore. We, the fans, deserve to be given the best possible "final matchups" for each of these greats.
The longest and most impressive win streak in MMA history is owned by Fedor Emelianenko. Including his win over Mihail Apostolov on April 6th, 2001, Fedor went 28 fights- over 9 years and 2 months, without a loss. 14 submission finishes. 7 KO's. Victories over 5 former UFC Heavyweight champions. He won the PRIDE Heavyweight title on March 16th, 2003, over Antonio Rodrigo Minotauro Nogueira, and retained it until PRIDE was purchased by Zuffa. His streak is and will always remain, legendary. In a sport with so many variables, so many ways to win, it's not at all crazy for one to think this streak will never be eclipsed.
Unfortunately for the Last Emperor and his fans, Fedor's now embarked on a streak he's never been on, a losing streak. He's lost his past 3 bouts, the most recent against Dan Henderson, a 41 year old former Middleweight. I mean to take nothing away from Dan, as he's an excellent fighter and will also be a Hall of Famer, (and could very well end up in an article like this within a year) but Fedor is clearly on the decline. The Henderson fight was the last on his contract, but Fedor, a lifetime fighter, isn't content with his MMA career and wants to continue. I believe nearly every fan on Earth would also like to see Fedor continue fighting. I think it's not out of the question for Fedor to fight more than once more, however at this point in his storied career, MMA owes him a great matchup, and the fans deserve to see Fedor put on one more show.
In a move that would be beneficial for all parties, and if it can be pulled off in early 2012, the location for this fight would be UFC's first ever show.......... in the Philippines. In what could be a co-main event, Fedor would face Brandon Vera, in a Heavyweight bout. I know what you're thinking, and it's probably got a couple F bombs in there- but stick with me. Vera fought Heavyweight for the first 10 fights of his career, with an 8-2 record. Highlights were winning the WEC Heavyweight tournament in 2005, and beating former UFC Heavyweight Champion Frank Mir. Vera is the most popular MMA fighter in the Phillipines, followed by Mark Munoz. I believe the local draw of Vera and the worldwide sensation that is Fedor Emelianenko will create an insane buzz in the arena, country, region, and a large portion of the non-USA world. (I only say that as I don't believe this would be the most popular possible matchup for fans in the USA) The UFC hype machine should take full advantage and put together a UFC Primetime with each athlete training in their perspective countries, highlighting the MMA movements and growth in their regions, for the matchup. The global outreach this event could have is immense, and as a true MMA fan, the more kids that grow up liking and practicing MMA, the better the sport will get as years pass.
To cap all that off, I think the matchup is great for Fedor. Vera is good at many things, Jiu Jitsu, wrestling, striking, however Fedor also has great hands, heavier than Vera's. Fedor's submissions are great, his sambo is world class, and his background is judo. This fight could turn into a war, but I also believe that would favor Fedor. I see Fedor winning with a late KO or submission, in a crowd and MMA fan-pleaser.

Here's a picture from the weigh-ins for Vera v. Mir, Vera is on the right (click the image to make it larger):

Give me your thoughts!


  1. Who determines the location and venue?

  2. The UFC has people who do each function. Matchups, locations, ect. There are UFC branches in Canada, Europe, Mexico, and elsewhere. It's certainly going global.

  3. I will fight Fedor. You will lose.

  4. Excellent user name. I think that fight should be in the Expendables 2 lol

  5. Great photo of the fighters. Interesting choices of attire.

  6. Agreed, however in a weigh-in, your options of clothing are limited when you are trying to make weight.

  7. What's the usual weigh in attire?

  8. Sometimes, they have to have towel holders as they need to strip completely to get the right weight.
    Here's something better than words: