A look back at MMA great Fedor Emelianenko

Fedor Emelianenko, of Russia, left, tries to hit Dan Henderson, right, during their fight at Sears Centre, in Hoffman Estates, Ill., Saturday, July 30, 2011. Henderson won by TKO in the first round. (AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski) Show caption
Fedor Emelianenko, of Russia, left, tries to hit Dan Henderson, right, during their fight at Sears Centre, in Hoffman Estates, Ill., Saturday, July 30, 2011. Henderson won by TKO in the first round. (AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski)

The heavyweight division in mixed martial arts can breathe a sigh of relief as the most feared man on the planet, simply known as Fedor, has retired.

Or has he?

Last week, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) president Dana White asked if mixed martial arts (MMA) fans would like to see a fight between Fedor Emelianenko and Brock Lesnar. Although there is little of no chance of this happening as White later explained, just the idea of Fedor jumping back in the ring with Lesnar was enough to get fans clamoring.

When Fedor was in his prime, Pride Fighting Championship (Pride FC) was arguably the world leader in MMA. While there, he became a legend going undefeated for over a decade. Fedor did this standing at only 5-11 in a heavyweight division that didn’t have a weight limit. Not only did Fedor win, but he dominated opponents for 10 years and 32 fights. A combination of no steroid testing and no weight-limits made the Pride FC heavyweight division a very dangerous place to thrive.

During Fedor’s tenure he disposed of six (yes, count them up) former UFC heavyweight champions in an average of one-round each, and faced men over seven-feet tall and over 300 pounds.

As the Pride FC organization began to crumble and was sold to the UFC, White and MMA fans waited patiently for Fedor to step inside the coveted UFC Octagon. Unfortunately, a deal between Fedor and the UFC never came to fruition.

In his last fight before retiring on June 21, 2012, Fedor looked like he did in his prime as he knocked out former UFC heavyweight champion Pedro Rizzo in St. Petersburg, Russia. The fight only took one minute, twenty four seconds.

Fans are now left to wonder what might have been if Fedor had become part of the UFC and the Fedor/Lesnar super fight had become reality. But alas, the MMA great has retired and the mixed martial arts world has lost a great gentlemen, icon, athlete and ambassador. Even though there will always be questions on possible match-ups for the former champion, no one can ever question Fedor’s commitment to the sport of mixed martial arts or the legacy that he leaves behind.

Outstanding Fedor fights

Kevin Randleman - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FFhsCukEwg

Andre Arlovski - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTUbMMkwM4w

Tim Sylvia - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6BFzVznbb8