While many MMA fans consider heavyweight MMA icon Fedor Emelianenko to be the greatest fighter of all time for his reign of dominance during the Pride FC era of MMA, ‘The Last Emperor’ doesn’t think of himself as ‘the GOAT’.
From 2002-2006, Emelianenko terrorized the Pride FC heavyweight division, going on a spectacular 14 fight win streak that saw him claim, and defend, the Pride FC heavyweight championship as he dispatched of numerous top ranked fighters such as Mirko Cro Cop, Mark Coleman, Mark Hunt, and of course, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.
Emelianenko then went on a 3-fight skid under the Strikeforce banner as he dropped losses to Fabricio Werdum, Bigfoot Silva, and Dan Henderson in the span of 13 months before returning to M-1 Global and returning to the win column. After making his MMA return in 2015, Emelianenko went on to pick up a majority decision win over Fabio Maldonado in June of 2016.
This Saturday, Fedor Emelianenko will look to pick up his 6th straight win when he faces Matt Mitrione at Bellator NYC, however ahead of the fight, Emelianenko revealed on The MMA Hour that he doesn’t consider himself the ‘GOAT’:
“I never considered myself to the best one,” Emelianenko told The MMA Hour. “A fighter can lose at any moment. And there are some fighters that, for example, are defending on some position that will be better than me in some technique.”
One knock against Emelianenko’s claim to the title of ‘GOAT’ is that he never competed in the UFC, something he says never really mattered to him:
“For me, there was always no difference where to perform, in which organization, whether it be the UFC, or Pride, or Strikeforce, or Bellator,” he continued. “The main thing is who is your opponent. I performed against different opponents who were the best fighters of the UFC.”
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 6/21/2017.