Fedor Emelianenko has long been regarded as one of the greatest fighters of all time, and depending on who you talk to, some folks believe the Russian star’s the G.O.A.T. Others believe that the former PRIDE champ is the greatest heavyweight ever. But, according to Alistair Overeem, there are reasons to question Emelianenko’s legacy…
“What can you say about it?” Overeem said. “I think Fedor had a great run in 2002-2005 and after that — people talk about 10 years undefeated and blah, blah, blah, but after 2005, who did he fight? He fought cans. He declined to fight me on two occasions, in 2009 and 2010.
“The other thing is that he never tested himself in the UFC. That’s something that bothers me. He should have done that. He should have went to the UFC and went to that mix. There’s always gonna be that little thing over his career…”
“He’s not the greatest heavyweight because he declined to fight me on two occasions while I was the Strikeforce heavyweight champion,” Overeem added. “You want to fight for the belt, right? I wanted to fight him, he’s a name. And secondly, because he didn’t go to the UFC.”
How about that? Now, there’s no doubt that Fedor has some fought some competition who weren’t exactly regarded as top tier…And, following his run in PRIDE and then Affliction, Emelianenko has gone 6-4.
But, his defenders would point out that Emelianenko holds wins over some of the greatest heavyweights ever, and that he scored those wins over them in the prime of their careers. For example, Fedor defeated Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Mirko “Cro Cop” when they were at their best. Emelianenko also went undefeated for ten years…
Few would argue, however, that it’s extremely unfortunate Fedor never made his way to the UFC, several years back.