Earlier this week Kid Nate and I tried to combat the growing lunacy online that saw people denying Fabricio Werdum was a fit opponent for the great Fedor Emelianenko. We explained that Werdum was one of the five most dangerous men in the world on the ground, that he could tap anyone at anytime, that he had proven that skill time and again against top level grapplers.
Well, against all odds, Werdum erased all doubts by submitting the greatest heavyweight in the history of mixed martial arts. Fedor Emelianenko had taken on all comers with an aggressive, but highly disciplined game. Against Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Fedor operated very carefully in the Brazilian's closed guard. Werdum didn't get that level of respect-and it cost Emelianenko dearly.
Werdum seemed to bait Fedor in, flopping to the ground after a series of punches that didn't seem to land cleanly. Fedor pounced quickly, but Werdum was ready. The Brazilian Jiu Jitsu world champion secured a triangle-armbar combination that was deep. The Russian scrambled and squirmed, but escape was impossible. One single tap ended the fight and changed the MMA business forever.
The internet will no doubt explode in the days to come, but remember who told you this was a real fight. Congratulations to Fabricio Werdum. Going forward I suspect people won't be so quick to dismiss him. When you are that good on the ground you are definitionally dangerous. I hope Alistair Overeem remembers that when the two fight later this year. And thanks to Fedor Emelianenko. There will never be another like him.
-- photo by Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com