This article contains no opinions (aside from those myths), only facts with proof and information on where and how you can check these things to be true.
The author is a big fan of UFC, Pride, and everything in between, from Kimbo to Rickson Gracie to Randy Couture and everyone else with the heart and guts to step into the cage or ring. There is no bias in this article!
Myth No. 1
Fedor doesn't (want to) fight top competition.
The top competition doesn't (want to) fight Fedor.
Josh Barnett is on video turning down the Fedor fight. You can view it on YouTube. Real Deal press conference (after the fights) Josh says he is beat up and tired to fight Fedor next, yet he does fight Nog (No. 2 in the world) instead...So, I guess he wasn't THAT tired.
Randy Couture tells us in his own press conference (YouTube) that he was offered $3 million to fight Fedor in Bodog, but chose instead to take $300k (10 times less money) to re-sign with UFC to fight Tim Sylvia.
Werdum stated on the front page of Pride website: "I'm not ready for the likes of Fedor."
Mirko Cro Cop stated, on his own website after the 2006 GP: "I will not take the Fedor fight now, due to my foot injury." (Notice that Cro Cop had no problem fighting lesser opponents WITH his foot injury, nor did Cro Cop have a problem fighting Fedor when Fedor's hand was broken...)
Need more proof? Listen to the wise words of Wanderlei Silva: "NOBODY wants to fight Fedor."
Myth No. 2
Fedor is afraid of the UFC.
UFC is afraid of Fedor.
UFC president Dana White went on the record to confirm that Fedor's management offered the UFC to have Fedor fight there on several occasions. Dana turned it down, according to himself.If we use our heads a little bit here, we can clearly see that Dana White is not going to let his best fighter get beat up, and then let Fedor just leave the UFC...That would be a marketing disaster.
The ONLY way UFC will sign Fedor is if they can have him for at least 4 fights. And if he wins them all, he MUST re-sign again, and again, and again... He can NEVER leave undefeated unless he retires (Officialclausein the UFC proposed agreement, which Fedor rejected) Also, if Fedor loses one fight UFC has the right to tear up the contract! (UFC standard offer is two lost fights, not one). This is unacceptable.
Think of it this way: if UFC is NOT afraid of Fedor, than why not let him fight Randy on a 1-time deal which Fedor has been asking for for years? (Notice! This would be in a cage, under UFC rules)
(Hint: because Dana White (UFC president) knows Fedor will most likely win and leave, ruining UFC's image)
Myth No. 3
Fedor is afraid of the UFC's rules.
Fedor fought under UFC rules and won.
Fedor has already fought under UFC rules in USA (vs. Tim Sylvia). He did just fine.
Myth No. 4
Fedor uses steroids, because all Pride fighters do.
Fedor is clean.
Fedor was tested several times by the same commission, which tests UFC fighters, since Fedor has fought in USA twice. He came back clean every time, while several other Pride and UFC fighters did not.
Myth No. 5
Fedor fights middleweights.
Fedor fights heavyweights.
Matt Lindland was seven lbs. lighter than Fedor for their fight. He was therefore a heavyweight for that fight. According to Lindland, on radio Sherdog, size was NOT the reason he lost to Fedor, but it was Fedor's great skill.
Renato Babalu and Arona were heavyweights back then. They have SINCE changed weight classes, but at and around the time of their fights with Fedor they were heavyweights.
Myth No. 6
Fedor mostly fights freak shows.
Everyone fights freak shows. And some of them are not freak shows.
Nogueira (current UFC interim Heavyweight Champion, and former Pride Champion) fought Zulu as well.
If Hong Man Choi is a freak show, than so is Brock Lesnar. They have a similar record in MMA, similar background (national wrestling champions), similar level of opposition, etc.
Recently Dana White praised Nog for beating Bob Sapp whom he called "freak show" (Countdown to TUF, new season). So fighting Sapp is ok, and Choi is not?? Notice also that Choi has defeated Sapp in K1.
Myth No. 7
Fedor fights cans (weak fighters).
Fedor has fought more top-10 ranked fighters than anyone except Nogueira.
Guys that you don't know, and you see them on Fedor's record are his early fights, where he had to prove himself. He was unknown also, remember that! If you look at the record of any other top fighter, you will find cans on their records as well.
Some cans you see on Fedor's record EARNED the right to face him. Example: Ogawa was not chosen by Fedor to beat up on. Ogawa won his previous Pride 2004 GP fights and EARNED the right to face Fedor. There was nothing Fedor could have done about that.
Some cans you see on Fedor's record were not cans at the time of their fights with Fedor. Examples: That same Ogawa, besides being a four-time World Judo Champion and Olympic medalist, was bringing a 7-0 record to the Fedor fight.
Schilt went 1-1 vs. UFC's best in UFC. Coleman was ranked in the top-three at the time of their first fight, etc.
Nogueira was the No. 1 fighter in the entire MMA world at the time of his first fight with Fedor. Cro Cop was ranked No. 2 in the world for his title fight with Fedor. Herring was No. 3 back when he faced Fedor. Nogueira was No. 2 for his second fight with Fedor. Tim was No. 4, and Hunt was No. 9.
Myth No. 8
Fedor can't finish any top fighter.
Fedor finished three top fighters.
Tim Sylvia was ranked No. 4 in the world at the time of his fight with Fedor. Hunt was ranked No. 7, or No. 9 in the world, (depending on what rankings you look at). Coleman was in the top-three for their first fight (having only lost to Nog and nobody else) Fedor finished all three men in the first round.
Myth No. 9
Fedor has sloppy striking.
Fedor has the best striking in MMA.
How many fighters can you name (aside from Fedor) that have never been dropped, even to one knee, by any strike?
(Don't worry, I'll wait)
His defense in striking is astounding, as the above example shows. (Two other great strikers, B.J. Penn and Anderson Silva, may make a similar claim. Props to them.)
The "loopy" "sloppy" boxing you see from Fedor is the product of different technique used in MMA due to smaller gloves, wider stance, and different weight distribution (in order to defend or prepare/set-up takedowns). Fedor's "loopy" punches curve AROUND the small blocking MMA gloves, and hit their target anyways.
See fight with Goodridge: Gary puts up a standard boxing block with both hands, but unfortunately for him the gloves are not big enough to cover an area big enough, and Fedor's "loopy" shots hit Gary on the ear, temple and neck.
See Tim Sylvia fight. Tim is prepared for Fedor's lightning-fast left hook. Tim is keeping his right hand as high as you'll ever see anyone do it. Fedor leaps in with that left hook again and... horror or horrors!!! The hook lands DESPITE Tim's hand being in the way. Fedor's small glove sneaks thru right next to Tim's small glove and Tim gets hurt. (The above explanations are from Fedor himself, who has elaborated on this topic during a recent master class which you can also see on youtube, but in Russian of course)
Boxing Champion Zab Judah was in attendance at Fedor's latest fight. He looked at Fedor's stand-up with awe and respect. Take Judah's word for it guys, he knows this stuff better than you and I.
Myth No. 10
Fedor is overrated.
Fedor is UNDERrated.
Don't take MY word for it guys! Here is what some top fighters and other people in the business have to say about him:
Quotes from people currently working for UFC (toeliminatebias and pro-Fedor hype)
"Fedor is the baddest mother-f_cker walking the planet."
-Joe Rogan, UFC commentator. (radio interview)
"Fedor is my favorite."
-BJ Penn, two-time UFC Champion. (NWFS 7/9/06)
"Fedor is the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world aside from B.J. Penn, those two are the best fighters in the world."
-Rampage Jackson, former UFC title-holder (video Sherdog interview, whilepreparingfor rematch with Chuck Liddell)
"The best fighter in the world right now in heavyweight division is probably Fedor"
-Randy Couture, UFC Heavyweight Champion (UFC 74 postfight press conference, available on YouTube)
"Fedor is the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, and I would pick him to beat Randy Couture. Randy is a great fighter, but my opinion—Fedor."
-Shogun, Pride GP Champion (cagetoday.com video interview, Aug. 31, 2008)
-GSP, UFC Champion (answering the question "Who is the best pfp fighter in the world?" on InsideMMA, September 2008)
Quotes by other top people in the business:
"I see no weaknesses in Fedor, he is the most amazing fighter I have ever seen."
-Bas Rutten, former UFC Champion and King of Pancrese.
"The best fighter to ever climb into any arena is Emelianenko Fedor, he is in a class by himself and you can't compare nobody"
-Kevin Randleman, former UFC Champion (available on YouTube)
"To beat Fedor, you would have to kill him twice, and then push him over"
-Nogueira, current UFC interim Heavyweight Champion and former PRIDE Heavyweight Champion (Gracie magazine interview, available on Wiki)
"Fedor is a machine."
-Don Frye, UFC tournament winner. (quote available on YouTube)
"Fedor is not human. He is definitely the best fighter on earth"
-Tim Sylvia, former UFC Champion (notice that Tim has fought Randy Couture, Nog, prime Ricco, and Arlovski three times. Tim knows what he is saying)
"Fedor is the s**t. His striking is amazing and his ground game is the best"
-Mark Hunt, K1 World Champion.
"Fedor is the best and greatest fighter and Martial Artist of all time"
-Chuck Norris, seven-time World Karate Champion and Judo and BJJ Black Belt (Sports-Express, December 2007 interview)
"Fedor has no equals."
-Aleksander Mikhailin, three-time World Judo Champion.
"The best fighter in the world, no doubt."
-Phil Baroni (Real Deal postfight press conference)
"I fought many tough guys around the world, but like him, never."
-Renato Babalu Sobral.
"Fedor... what can you say? He is just a monster!"
-John McCarthy, former head referee of the UFC (Affliction video interview following the event)
"He is the best"
-Mark Coleman, former UFC heavyweight champion and Pride GP Champion.
"He is the best pfp fighter in the world"
-Jeff Monson, ADCC Champion and UFC title contender.
"Fedor is every bit as good as people say he is, he is incredible,ridiculouslygood fighter, he fights with no fear."
-Pat Miletich, legendary coach of many top UFC superstars such as Matt Hughes. (Interview before Affliction, available on youtube by searching "Tim Sylvia talks about Fedor")