It was widely considered a stepping stone match to the highly desired bout that lingered in the air between Fedor and current Strikeforce HW champ Alistair Overeem. I am of course referring to the now-infamous Saturday night fight in which massive underdog Fabricio Werdum was victorious over the world’s most legendary fighter. Although awkward to say and even harder to wrap one’s head around this new-found reality – “Fedor” has been stopped.
Werdum presented a serious threat on the ground coming into his match with Fedor but many of the long-time pound-for-pound king’s opponents have been offering up similar challenges for years. Every time those problems were met head-on, dealt with by using high level fight-IQ and then exploited for a convincing win. Newer MMA fans can verify these incredible combat feats by simply turning to YouTube and queuing up some of Fedor’s epic PRIDE matches with names like Randleman, Coleman and Nogueira (just to name a few).
This loss isn’t the end of the road for Fedor but it will likely act as a very big wake-up call to the Russian fighter. He has never been the biggest, most physically fit heavyweight and perhaps we’ll see some changes in Emelianenko’s preparations for his next bout. After all – the only thing more shocking than this first loss would be consecutive one of the same fashion.