The term GOAT does not come around too often in combat sports, especially not one as young as MMA. Thus far, the only legitimate claims to being the greatest of all time in MMA have come in the form of Fedor Emelianenko and Anderson Silva.
Emelianenko dominated the Heavyweight division in Pride FC, and went on to capture the WAMMA HW belt before his eventual decline. His age began to show when he dropped three fights on the trot between 2010-11. First he was submitted in one round by Fabricio Werdum, then TKO’d by Antonio Silva and finally knocked out by Dan Henderson.
Fedor’s losses ended there as he went on to beat Satoshi Ishii, Jeff Monson and Pedro Rizzo before retiring. His status as GOAT didn’t remain his for much longer, at least not as far as mainstream media was concerned. A new legend was being pushed in to the limelight in the form of Anderson Silva.
Just months before ‘The Last Emperor’s shock loss to ‘Vai Cavalo’ in Strikeforce, Silva had put an incredible, assassin like beat down on Forrest Griffin. His clinical striking was a far cry from the wild swinging Fedor style, but it paved the way to three years of pure glory for Silva.
‘The Spider’ was already a household name in MMA, having won the title at UFC 64 and defended it three times. Occasional trips to LHW, as in the Griffin scrap, had a lot of people talking about a champ vs. champ fight at 205. Fast forward to 2013 and Silva has built an incredible 16 fight streak consisting of seven KOTN awards and countless other records.
Some would argue that Silva has not yet started his full decline, others would say that his best days are far behind him. All I know at present is that Fedor and Silva’s careers look strangely similar. As it stands right now, who do you think deserves the moniker of MMA’s greatest of all time?