Mixed martial arts, better known as MMA, is one of the world’s most captivating forms of fighting. It’s not yet bigger than boxing and it might not be as prestigious as Judo, but it’s without a doubt a sensation and a growing sport. Millions around the globe watch the UFC as well as other competitions, and bet on them on sports betting websites. Like other sports, MMA has its legends. And one of the most legendary fighters ever is Fedor Emelianenko. At 45, he’s still fighting. But for how much longer?
Fedor Emelianenko’s Career
Fedor Emelianenko started to fight when he was little. His expertise is in Sambo and Judo. In both of these martial arts, he was successful even before he started his MMA career and he continued to be successful long after. In the Russian Sambo championships, he won the gold medal 6 times. He’s also the winner of several World Championships in this sport. But the area in which he truly shines is MMA.
Fedor once said that he decided to go into MMA because he felt that he could do well in this sport, given his background. An important part of his decision was also the tough financial situation he was in. In the late ’90s, Russia was in a difficult position. The Soviet Union had collapsed during the same decade and the whole country was struggling to make ends meet.
Being in this position himself, Fedor saw that MMA was starting to grow in popularity and he decided to try it. His first fights took place in the year 2000 and the initial results looked very promising. The only bump in the road was the fight against Tsuyoshi Kohsaka. Fedor lost this fight via TKO in just 17 seconds because the rules said that if you were cut, the fight would stop. If we ignore this incident, Fedor actually went undefeated for 31 consecutive fights.
Extremely few fighters in the history of MMA or fighting sports in general were as impressive as Fedor. To fight the strongest competitors in your niche for a decade and not lose at all is very impressive.
Being Called the Baddest Man on the Planet
After a decade of dominance, Fedor was named the Baddest Man on the Planet and was featured in a documentary with the same name, which you can watch here. People around the globe couldn’t understand how he did what he did and what his secret was.
If you carefully analyze the man, you realize very quickly that he loves to fight, has dedicated decades of his life to excel at it and is a highly spiritual person. On top of that, Fedor is very well educated and has a great team. All of these ingredients resulted in one of the most epic runs in the history of MMA. But, as they say, all good things come to an end.
For Fedor, the decline started just 4 fights after he went to fight in the United States. Up until that point, Fedor was fighting in Japan. But after he went to the US, some of the things he saw there clearly changed him a bit. At this point he was having some personal issues and was trying to learn more about theology. That probably helped to some degree, but Fedor’s career was still over the hill.
The initial matches he won on US soil were against Tim Sylvia, Andrei Arlovski, and Brett Rogers. The first of these matches was absolutely spectacular and ended in just 36 seconds. Needless to say, everyone was stunned. But just a few years later, Fedor lost for the first time in a decade to Fabricio Werdum. And then to Antonio Silva and Dan Henderson. Fedor fought just 3 more opponents after that and then he retired for 3.5 years.
He returned in 2015 against Jaideep Singh and won the match. Since then, his career was quite boring to follow. He clearly isn’t fighting against the best competitors in the world and he doesn’t really need the money. At 45, the risks of an injury are much higher than at 25. So why is he still fighting?
Quite possibly, Fedor will soon announce his retirement. And many believe that it will happen this year.
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Founder, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.
#MMA #CombatSportsNews #BRAVECF #UFC #MuayThai #Boxing #Kickboxing #Prowrestling #BareKnuckleFighting