15-0: Anderson Silva vs. Fedor EmelianenkoPosted on July 16, 2012, 08:03 PM by Anton Gurevich
Six years after making his Octagon debut against Chris “The Crippler” Leben, Anderson Silva is still undefeated in the UFC. Every new challenger “is the chosen one” to defeat the Brazilian phenom, who proves time after time that he’s one league above everyone in his weight class.
Chris Weidman, Alan Belcher, Hector Lombard, Michael Bisping, Brian Stann, and Vitor Belfort are all top-tier fighters with good chances to cut Anderson Silva’s unbeaten streak. For the first time ever in recent memory, 185lbs weight class can offer a number of reasonable contenders for Silva’s crown.
Anderson Silva turned 37 last April, and now finds himself on the brink of making history. Silva is now 15-0 in the UFC, just like Fedor Emelianenko before PRIDE went out of business, which brings us to the hopeless argument of who’s the greatest fighter in MMA history. I won’t try to convince you Fedor is the greatest, but there are definitely some interesting facts that you might consider while battling each other in the comment section below.
Classic mistake in every Fedor-related argument is to bring up the fact that “The Last Emperor” never fought in the UFC. Well, I think everyone would agree that the talent pool in the UFC Heavyweight division from 2002-2006 was nowhere near to the one in PRIDE. Fedor fought the best heavyweights on the planet in PRIDE, and then brutally finished Tim Sylvia and Andrei Arlovski in Affliction. Again, Fedor’s 2002-2006 stint with PRIDE was his “Golden Age” as a fighter, and once again, it’s the only measurable comparison to Anderson Silva’s current run in the UFC.
When it comes to quality of opponents, Fedor Emelianenko has nine Top 10 victories in PRIDE – Schilt, Herring, Randleman, Big Nog (x2), Fujita, Coleman (x2), Cro Cop. Another thing to take in consideration is PRIDE rules, which are by far more brutal than NJSACB Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts. For a fighter to survive 15 bouts without getting his head soccer-kicked into row Z is absolutely amazing.
Anderson Silva, on the other hand, has defeated every Top 10 Middleweight in the UFC. Some fans might argue about the quality of Silva’s opponents, but his humiliation of Forrest Griffin (#4 Light Heavyweight in July, 2009) is an incomparable achievement.
Silva’s performances against Thales Leites, Demian Maia, and perhaps Patrick Cote, have significantly damaged his legacy as a fighter. Emelianenko brutalized every fighter on his way, while The Spider acted as “a bored genius” before meeting Chael Sonnen at UFC 117. Luckily for Silva, spectacular performances against Vitor Belfort, Chael Sonnen and Yushin Okami, made the clowning of Demian Maia a thing of the past.
At the end of the day, it will always come down to a matter of taste. Some would prefer Fedor Emelianenko’s style, while others would suggest that Anderson Silva’s supernatural ability to make his opponents look like amateurs is what makes you the greatest of all time.
Silva recently stated that he wants to fight at least 10 more years. Personally, I find this very unlikely. In my humble opinion, Anderson Silva has no more than five fights left in his MMA career. If he remains undefeated in those five fights, and retires 20-0 in the UFC, he could cement his status as the greatest ever.