Fedor still has plenty to prove 

Contract negotiations between Pride FC heavyweight champion, Fedor Emelianenko, and the UFC have not gone smoothly and the lack of haste on both sides has left observers to speculate the consequences if they are unable to come to terms.

There are those who say that Fedor will walk away from the table because he nothing left to prove. He has gone unbeaten in over six years, dominated some of the top fighters of his division and is considered the top pound-for-pound MMA fighter by most sports writers.

With all due respect to his accomplishments and the opinion of others, Fedor still has plenty to prove and his legacy as the greatest of MMA fighter of all-time or even the greatest fighter of his era will come into question years from now if he doesn't compete in the UFC for the following reasons:

  1. To be considered the greatest of all-time, there has to popular consensus among the masses. This is big problem when you consider that most of North America and places other than Russia and Japan don't even know Fedor exists. It doesn't matter how loud the fanboys shout and whine because at the end of the day, no one will believe them unless they see it with their own eyes. Fedor has yet to fully establish his presence in what is now the Mecca of MMA.

  2. To be the man, you got to beat the man. To be the undisputed heavyweight champion, you have to beat the best fighters of the era and while many can question the caliber of fighter that Tim Silvia and Andre Arlovski represent, no one can deny that they were UFC champions at the time of his reign. Until Fedor defeats them in the octagon, he hasn't defeated the top opponents and the question will always linger.

  3. Randy Couture is taking names. At 44 years young, Couture is defying the odds and shaking things up in the heavyweight division by beating both Tim Silvia and Gabriel Gonzaga decisively while Fedor is accumulating ring rust from inactivity. The bigger Couture's star shines, the more Fedor's diminishes as fickle fans have short memories will eventually move on. A victory over Couture would go a long way to reestablishing Fedor's status and answering questions about his ability to conquer top-level UFC fighters.

  4. Pride fighters have performed poorly in the Octagon. The widely held belief among fanboys that Pride fighters are superior to UFC ones was given harsh wake up call when top Pride fighters Takanori Gomi, Cro Cop, Kazuki Fujita and Heath Herring were defeated by UFC fighters who weren't even the top of their division. We can't call Fedor the best until we know he can achieve victory under the unified rules with elbows and the ground n' pound dangers of fighting in the Octagon.

  5. Fedor has only passed one drug test in North America. With steroids and recreational drugs being more prevalent in MMA than most people imagined, Fedor needs to test cleanly several more times of performance enhancers under the scrutiny of independent-bodied athletic commissions in the United States. Until he does so, his previous record in Pride will have an unofficial asterisk given the lax nature of Pride's self-regulated drug testing that has come to light in recent months. Consistently producing clean tests does not definitively prove that his prior accomplishments were done without performance enhancers, but it does prove that he is able to compete and win cleanly on more than one occasion and it does aid public perception that he is a clean fighter.

Like it or not, UFC is the dominant promotion in MMA today and if Fedor has any desire to establish his legacy as one of the greatest MMA fighters of all-time, he must compete in the Octagon to solidify his place in history.

Chi Kong Lui

Chi Kong Lui

In the 1980s, Chi grew up in small town on the outskirts of New York City called Jackson Heights. Latino actor, John Leguizamo referred to the town as the "melting pot of the world," and while living there, Chi was exposed to many diverse cultures, as well as a bevy of arcade classics such as Pac-Man, Space Ace, Space Harrier and Double Dragon. Chi's love of videogames only seemed to grow as his parents finally caved and bought him an 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System (after being the only kid in the block without one). In the 1990s, Chi finagled his way into the prestigious Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts.

Somewhere between all the gaming, Chi some how managed to finish high school and get into the New York Institute of Technology. At the same time, Chi also interned at Virtual Frontiers, an Internet software consultancy where he learned the ways of HTML. Soon after acquiring his BFA, Chi went on to become the lead Web designer of the Anti-Defamation League. During his tenure there, Chi was instrumental in redesigning and relaunching the non-profit organization's Web site.

Today, Chi is the webmaster of the American Red Cross in Greater New York and somehow managed to work through the tragic events of September 11th without losing his sanity. Chi considers GameCritics.com his life's work and continues to be amazed that the web site is still standing after the recent dotcom fallout. It is his dream that GameCritics.com will accomplish two things: 1) Redefine the grammar of videogames much the same way French film critic Andre Bazin did for the art of cinema and 2) bring game criticism to the forefront of mainstream culture much the same way Siskel & Ebert did for film criticism.
Chi Kong Lui
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slinks
slinks
12 years ago

I agree with Söderberg very strongly…he stated more than what I was going to sat

Swedish sportsjournalist Söderberg
Swedish sportsjournalist Söderberg
13 years ago

This is not a good blog-entry. 1) [quote]To be considered the greatest of all-time, there has to popular consensus among the masses.[/quote] This might be true, although, this has already happened to Fedor – among the masses that knows there are other countries than America; more specifically – among the masses that knows of Pride FC. Thing is, that Randy, among other fighters (all fighters in Pride FC, and yes, even most fighters in UFC), describes Fedor as the #1 HW of the World. Take Sweden for an example, most MMA-fans here would without any reasonable doubt describe him as… Read more »

Söderberg
Söderberg
13 years ago

I forgot to write ‘journalist’ in citationmarks, because I’m just as much a sportsjournalist as you are. It might have been my misunderstanding to think you wrote professionally, although it seemed to be announced as a real article on a fighting forum.