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‘I absolutely love Fedor’ — Daniel Cormier defends his criticism of Fedor Emelianenko

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Daniel Cormier clarifies his recent comments on heavyweight great Fedor Emelianenko.

Daniel Cormier owes UFC Vegas 41 referee Jason Herzog an apology
Daniel Cormier is on broadcasting duty for the UFC 266 PPV at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on Sept. 25, 2021.
Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Daniel Cormier might not think Fedor Emelianenko would have fared so well in the UFC during the 2009-2012 era, but ‘DC’ is no Fedor hater — in fact, he is one of ‘The Last Emperor’s’ biggest fans.

‘DC’ clarified his recent comments about Emelianenko being ‘average at best’ in the UFC during 2009-2012 in a YouTube video.

“Fedor Emelianenko. Guys, let’s just put this out there. I absolutely love Fedor,” Cormier stated (h/t Sportskeeda). “Let’s not make it anything that it isn’t. So earlier in the week I had this conversation on my show, Debate DC... We had a conversation about whether Fedor could rule the UFC in the way that he did at some of the other, Pride and all the other organizations that he fought in prior.”

“I said no. But I was very specific in the timeframe. I didn’t say that 2005, four, three, six Fedor couldn’t... I said in a window of nine to 12, I didn’t think that he would be as good as he had shown to be prior.”

So, to be clear, Cormier doesn’t think Emelianenko would have thrived in the UFC during the specific time period in which he dropped three straight losses to Fabricio Werdum, Antonio Silva, and Dan Henderson.

All criticism aside, Fedor is widely considered one of the greatest heavyweight fighters of all time.

He went undefeated for a stretch of ten years and beat former UFC heavyweight champions Andrei Arlovski, Tim Sylvia, and Mark Coleman. Emelianenko also holds standout victories over Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Frank Mir, and Rampage Jackson. The former Pride heavyweight champ last fought at Bellator 269 where he defeated Timothy Johnson via first-round KO.