June 26, 2010 will be marked as a moment in MMA to remember. Fabricio Werdum did the unthinkable and beat the Russian machine, Fedor Emelianenko. Going into the fight Fedor was unbeaten in 10 years and a living legend in MMA.
Fedor’s dominance in the sport led people to watch him fight not to see him win, but to see if his opponents had anything that could pose any kind of threat to the Russian. But in the sport of MMA everyone will eventually feel the sting of defeat. With this loss the mystique of the unbeatable warrior is gone forever, but it doesn’t take away that he is one of the best fighters in the world. Fedor did make obvious mistakes that led to his loss, but Fabricio Werdum was the one that faced the sport’s best and slapped a wicked triangle to finish the fight and that, was no mistake. And with this win Werdum will be known as the first man to hand Fedor’s first legitimate loss.
MMA fans who believed Fedor’s title as the best Heavyweight fighter in the world was unjustified and will use this loss to prove their point. For the past few years Fedor has fought mediocre opponents, and those opponents weren’t worthy enough to make any fighter the best in the world. That, I agree, but beating them didn’t make him any less of one. It was in PrideFC where they had the best heavyweight fighters in the world Fedor proved undoubtedly that he was the #1. At that time he had beaten the two best fighters, Antonio Rodrigo Noguiera (twice) and Mirko Cro Cop. Any other heavyweight whether in PrideFC, UFC, or in any organization would just be cannon fodder for these two, but Fedor Emelianenko cemented himself as the best when he beat them convincingly. Unfortunately with the fall of PrideFC Fedor was left to fight in smaller organizations where competition was in short supply. A fight in the UFC never came to fruition (Fedor’s management mostly to blame). It left many to wonder if he was still the best in the world since fighters like Brock Lesnar, Shane Carwin, Cain Velasquez, and Junior Dos Santos, who are all in the UFC, are making headway to the top of heavyweight mountain.
So where does Fedor stand in the rankings? It’s very difficult to tell, but one thing is for sure that he is no longer #1. Some people will say he is, and that this recent loss is just a fluke. But I say, “you’re only as good as your last fight.” And his last fight was a loss and it’s hard to argue about being the best when you’ve just been defeated. The king has fallen and the only way to get back his throne is to quickly get back in the cage (or ring).