Fedor… In most MMA fans, this name conjures up one of two visceral emotions… either pure adoration… or unrestrained hate.
We are a month away from what is most likely the last fight of Fedor’s career. The fact that I have made this FanPost is an obvious indicator of my stance on Fedor.
I have been watching Fedor's career closely since his final fight with Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at PRIDE Shockwave 2004. The last 8 years have been filled with wild ups and downs.
I will admit that I shed a single tear as Fedor gave a single tap to Werdum’s left thigh.
I yelled in protest when the Antonio Silva fight was stopped before a third round (in which I felt a battered Fedor would batter an exhausted Big Foot).
And I was furious at Herb Dean when he waved Dan Henderson off of a yet responsive Fedor (it took me several viewings of the replay to ultimately admit this was a good stoppage). Yeah, I’m definitely a Fedor fan boy.
However, in watching all of these fights, it became apparent that Fedor was definitely lacking in a vital skill required in an octagon (or hexagon)… Fedor would be dumbfounded when pressed up against the cage.
In watching the Brett Rogers, Big Foot and Hendo fights, there were moments where Fedor was pressed with his back against the cage with his adversary in the dominant position. All he would do in response was clinch and avoid taking any damage (in the Hendo fight, he was pressed up against the cage for almost 2 minutes with a baffled look on his face). Clearly, something was lacking.
So now, Fedor has gone back to fighting in a ring, albeit against lesser (but still potentially dangerous) competition. He confidently dismantled Jeff Monson in a kickboxing clinic (I think he wrecked Monson worse that DC could wreck him). And he KO’d Satoshi Ishii. Now Rizzo is on deck.
Fedor showed an unparalleled confidence in the ring. He seemed well aware of his positioning and moved fluidly.
At the same time, I’m not sure if Fedor has ever trained in a cage. Most footage of his workouts are either on open mats or in a ring. I’m sure there isn’t a cage in Starry Oskol.
The debate will rage on over whether or not Fedor is the HW Greatest of All Time.
The quiet, introverted Russian man with a chubby frame and boyish grin, standing barely 6 feet tall, who would go on to submit monsters and destroy champions. How can one not love Fedor.
But I’m sure both sides of the Fedor debate can reach a consensus and admit that Fedor is the greatest MMA fighter to ever step foot in a ring.
Fedor, you will be missed :(