There are a lot of folks in the mixed martial arts (MMA) community — including top fighters — who consider former PRIDE FC heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko to be the greatest of all time.
“The Last Emperor” isn’t one of them.
“I never considered myself to the best one,” Emelianenko told The MMA Hour. “A fighter can lose at any moment. And there are some fighters that, for example, are defending on some position that will be better than me in some technique.”
There was a lot of talk about Emelianenko’s legacy after the Combat Sambo deity passed on Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), for one reason or another, as most fighters cannot achieve G.O.A.T. status without first competing inside the world-famous Octagon.
“For me, there was always no difference where to perform, in which organization, whether it be the UFC, or Pride, or Strikeforce, or Bellator,” he continued. “The main thing is who is your opponent. I performed against different opponents who were the best fighters of the UFC.”
Emelianenko stopped former UFC heavyweight champions Tim Sylvia and Andrei Arlovski when both combatants were in their prime, and also holds wins over Mirko Cro Cop and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, who also faced the Stary Oskol native when they were competing at the peak of their respective careers.
That said, his Strikeforce run left a lot to be desired.
Emelianenko returns to the cage for the Bellator 180 pay-per-view (PPV) event later this month is New York City (details), where the now 40-year-old veteran will look to keep himself at the top of the Spike TV mountain.
For how long, remains to be seen.