At Fight Booth we cover the sport of mixed martial arts from every aspect. That said, we have a special place for the best of the best, the most amazing athletes the sport has seen. It’s the Hall of Violence. You don’t get an invite into this elusive and exclusive den of violence by knocking a guy out here and there. You have to be among the best, most vicious and endearing warriors who have ever graced the cage or ring. Fedor Emelianenko is such a fighter. In fact, he encapsulates what the Hall of Violence is, and forever should be.
Born in 1976 in Rubizhne, a city in the Ukraine, Fedor was created to be a professional fighter. Forged like iron in the Ukrainian winters, Fedor excelled in the Russian submission art of Sambo, where he was a six-time Russian Sambo Champion, a European Sambo Champion and a four time Sambo Champion of the World. He was a thinking man’s fighter, who at the drop of a hat would finish his opponents without emotion. It seemed his fight style was molded by his family life, his mother being a teacher, and his father a welder. Fedor brought both into the cage, an ability to both out think and outwork his opponents.
There are those who want to get involved on where he ranks all time among fighters, and frankly, I’m not sure it matters. That said there are two schools of thought here. There are those who believe Fedor is the best of all time, and then there’s those are misinformed, or simply got it wrong. Fedor is the best fighter to have ever laced up the gloves, and stepped into the sport of MMA. He’s the Muhammed Ali of MMA, and while Anderson, GSP, Jones, Aldo, and the like are the Haglers, Hearns, Sweat Peas and Floyd’s of the sport, there’s one Muhammed Ali, and there is only one Fedor Emelianenko.
He was simply untouchable during his prime in Pride. Well, aside from the night he got “touched” by Fujita and did the chicken dance, but, of course a minute or so later, he dropped and finished Fujita and the momentary wobble proved only to once and for all dispel all rumors that Fedor was a cyborg. His victories against Semmy Schilt, Big Nog (twice), Heath Herring, Mark Coleman(twice), Kevin Randleman (after being spiked into the mat in one of the most cringe-worthy suplexes ever), Cro Cop, and a laundry list of others in a career that saw him win 27 consecutive fights. He lost three fights in a row, and by and large people judge him on those fights. Unless you’ve seen his fights in Pride, you don’t understand why Fedor is so special. He had the big fight aura, unlike any other fighter in MMA. Fedor wasn’t the main event, he was the whole event. He was why a ton of people stayed up until the wee hours of the morning following along on live events from Japan in chat rooms.
You want to see some jaw dropping body shots, check out his work against Gary Goodridge. At one point in his career in Japan, he won 14 or 18 fights, all in the first row. He wasn’t just jaw breaking, he was jaw dropping. The kind of fighter that could run Stuart Scott out of metaphors in minutes. Plus, how do you not love a guy who fights like the devil and then wears a Bill Cosby sweater while double fisting ice cream cones.
Truth be told, whether you view him as the best ever, or simply among the best, there is no disputing how deserving he is to be among the fighters inducted into the Hall of Violence. Have any doubts? Check out this amazing video of some of his highlights. It’s controlled chaos and beautiful violence.
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