Moment of Truth for "The Last Emperor" Fedor EmelianenkoPosted on July 27, 2011, 07:37 AM by Anton Gurevich
This weekend, one of the greatest fighters in Mixed Martial Arts history, Fedor "The Last Emperor" Emelianenko will step inside the cage, this time fighting not only for victory - but for his career. The man standing against Emelianenko, fellow MMA legend Dan "Hendo" Henderson will look to upset the fans of the stoic Russian, with sights on re-claiming his status as one of the best Pound for Pound fighters in MMA.
It's a new feeling for Fedor. After 10 years of domination, he finds himself with his back against the wall, pressured to prove he's still that mythological, fearsome warrior, who reigned supreme in PRIDE FC.
The fight with Antonio Silva was without a doubt the lowest point in Fedor Emelianenko's career. During all those years, Fedor maintained an image of indestructible Russian robot. Against Silva, Fedor looked un-motivated, and was brutalized for the first time in his career. All of a sudden, "The Last Emperor" looked vulnerable, and had no solution for Antonio Silva's "strength of the Bigfoot". Fedor was mentally beaten to the point where he announced his retirement inside the cage, minutes after the referee awarded Silva TKO victory and a ticket to the Strikeforce Heavyweight GP semi-final.
But that was just another chapter in the Fedor Emelianenko Story.
Whether you have/had him in your P4P list or not, it's hard to argue with the fact that Fedor Emelianenko is MMA legend. And every legend, sooner or later, meets its moment of truth.
The fight against Dan Henderson on July 30th will be Fedor's moment of truth.
It's the fight where Fedor will have to prove he's still Fedor – MMA fighter from Stariy Oskol with heart of a lion, amazing hands speed, and elite-level grappling. Emelianenko went undefeated for 10 years because he possesses certain qualities that make him better than others. You can't win 31 MMA fights against some of the top names on the planet by simply being "a good fighter". Every other legendary sportsmen, from Michael Jordan to Pele, had something that made them different.
We can all argue about what makes Fedor "Fedor", and what will be the X-Factor against Dan Henderson. But at the end of the day, just like the mythological Phoenix, the man who went undefeated for over 10 years definitely has what it takes to rise from the ashes.
At least in my opinion, the biggest problem of MMA community is that vast majority of the fans judge fighters strictly by logic, or so-called MMA math. But everyone who truly loves sports will understand that fighters like Fedor Emelianenko and many other Hall of Famers are way above numbers, rankings, streaks, records, and any other type of calculations.
Fedor's achievements as a Mixed Martial Artist are abnormal. He's a statistical anomaly, to the point people find it hard to digest, and try to find an answer by re-writing history and dismissing his legacy as a fighter.
I'm a huge fan of both Fedor and Dan Henderson. For me personally, this Saturday's main event has every required attribute to be labeled as "Fight of the Year". Once again, the true winners are Mixed Martial Arts fans around the world, who will see a fight between two legendary warriors.
Photo: Francis Specker