The one-time unbeatable MMA phenom, Fedor Emelienko, has been on a rocky road lately. At 35 years old, the fittingly named ‘Last Emperor,’ hadn’t lost a match in over 10 years, until facing top-ranked Strikeforce fighters Fabricio Werdum, Antonio Silva, and Dan Henderson. After these three consecutive losses between June, 2010 and July, 2011, Fedor left Strikeforce and started a new winning streak.
Fedor started working his way back in November with a unanimous decision against the intimidating big man, Jeff ‘The Snowman’ Monson. He followed up a month later with a devastating knockout of Dream and K-1 rising star, Satoshi Ishii. Fedor crushed Ishii with powerful combinations and feels his losses made him a better fighter, relating after the fight, “I felt that my striking improved, and that, as a fighter I have evolved.”
I’ve always been a fan of Fedor and wanted to see him compete in the UFC, especially after his submission of 7’2” Japanese monster, Hong Man Choi. But not everyone thinks Fedor is getting better, and he’ll likely never see the inside of a UFC octagon. “Hey, Fedor sucks, man,” Dana White proclaimed as he was ambushed by reporters outside a Mastro’s steakhouse earlier this month, adding, “Deal with it. He sucks. Get over the Fedor thing.” The ambushing reporter followed up with a rhetorical, “Does he?” White revised his answer with a more ‘politically correct,’ “Naw… he’s on the downside.”
Fedor has appreciated long-time legendary status, and constantly packs arenas with his name, alone; his next fight is tentatively scheduled in Monaco for M-1 in July. Potential opponents include 7-1 behemoth and former WWE wrestler, Bobby Lashley or a TBD European fighter. Whether he is getting better and learning from his losses, or he is on the downside of a long and fruitful career, one thing is near certain… no matter who he fights, the worldwide MMA phenomenon is likely to sell-out the arena.