I was unable to watch the Strikeforce event live last night, but I was delighted to see the results. Fedor Emelianenko, one of the most over hyped fighters of all time finally lost a fight. Fabricio Werdum caught him with a combination of a triangle choke and an arm bar. As a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fan I always like to see BJJ used successfully.
The important thing though is that Fedor, the unbeatable Russian fighting robot, lost to a guy who was dropped by the UFC. Fedor had only one loss on his record, which everyone discounted because it was stopped due to a cut and it was also avenged in the rematch. On the other hand, most of his wins did not come against top level fighters. It was thought for some time that the guys fighting for the PRIDE organization in Japan were far superior to the heavyweights in the UFC. For a time, that may have been true, but the new crop of heavyweights in the UFC have shown that the PRIDE fighters are not on top anymore. Fedor’s most notable wins in PRIDE were against Mirko Cro Cop and Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira. Cro Cop was expected to come in and clean up the UFC heavyweight division, but has instead been mostly an embarrassment. He’s lost multiple fights and even his wins were unimpressive. Nogueira has faired better, but was stopped by Frank Mir and Cain Valasquez despite having never been never lost by TKO in PRIDE. While Fedor’s old resume highlights were getting tarnished in the UFC, he stayed outside fighting UFC rejects.
Somehow people still saw his nearly perfect record and decided he was unbeatable. This is a ridiculous leap to make, both because of his habit of ducking top competition and because there are too many facets or as some say “too many ways to lose” in MMA. Fedor actually seems like a nice guy and he is a good fighter, but I’m inclined to root against anyone labeled as “invincible.” Guys who can’t lose have lost too many times in MMA. Other fans and “experts” will scoff at the idea of certain fighters losing, and anyone who suggests a vulnerability is derided as not understanding the sport. B.J. Penn has been hailed as one of the top pound for pound fighters in the world. People (including B.J. himself) seemed to think that there were no lightweights who could really compete with him. It didn’t take that long before Frankie Edgar came in and boxed his way to B.J.’s belt. Lyoto Machida was untouchable and had never lost around. He was supposed to hold the light heavyweight belt for years. Almost immediately Shogun took it from him. GSP has already been clobbered by Matt Serra.
I hope that with the fall of “The Last Emperor” we can see him as “the last unbeatable fighter.” Nobody is unbeatable and to call anyone unbeatable is stupid. Anderson Silva looks pretty tough now, but it isn’t hard to imagine someone beating him with wrestling and taking his belt. If he continues to fight he will lose. GSP will lose. Brock Lesnar will lose.