Fedor Emelianenko was more than just a fighter.
His losses in the US under the Strikeforce banner – Fabricio Werdum, Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva, Dan Henderson – have somewhat overshadowed his legacy with younger/newer fans of mixed martial arts.
Those losses came at the end of a long and storied career. Those who didn’t see Fedor in his day don’t understand what a force of nature he was. He was undersized and out-muscled by almost all his opponents, but his gymnastic ability and superb technique saw him emerge victorious again and again.
Not only that, he usually won in devastating fashion. One of Fedor’s great abilities was to throw bombs. He landed his shots with accuracy and with huge force. He was also an intelligent fighter, capable of playing a tactical game when required, then instantly switching to demolition mode when the opening came up.
He is now retired and says he has no intention of ever returning to the ring. His greatness is occasionally questioned by the new generation of fans, raised on a US- and UFC-centric diet of fights and information. But for the connoisseurs Fedor is among the greatest of all time, and will remain there.