Dana White: Fedor Emelianenko One of the Greatest Heavyweights Ever

October 31, 2012
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Fedor after defeating Tim Syliva at Affliction 1There’s not much UFC President Dana White will concede when talking about former Pride heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko.

It’s no secret that for years, White pursued the Russian to try and sign him to fight inside the UFC Octagon. It’s also no secret that Emelianenko retired without ever fighting for the UFC, and the questions about the former champion are sometimes a thorn in the side of White who hasn’t missed out on too many pursuits in his time as the UFC’s head honcho.

Over the years, White has been critical of Emelianenko’s regard as one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time.

Now that Emelianenko has walked away from competition, White can look back at his career with a little more honest reflection, and he gives him his due when it comes to the heavyweight division.

“Do I think that Fedor is one of the greatest heavyweights ever? Yes, he’s one of the greatest heavyweights ever. I’ll give you that,” White stated on Tuesday.

Bending isn’t breaking however, and while White will give Emelianenko his due in the heavyweight division, he’s not ready to place his name among the all time greats to ever compete in the sport.

White looks at UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva as the greatest fighter who has ever stepped foot into the MMA arena, and while he didn’t name any other names, he doesn’t believe Fedor Emelianenko is among them.

“Is he one of the greatest mixed martial artists of all time? You’re out of your minds,” said White.

Emelianenko retired from MMA earlier this year and finished his career with an impressive 34-4-1 record overall.

  • Dana White

    In other words, Fedor is GOAT but im too butthurt to admit it.

    • Anthony Lopez

      Pretty much

    • if the G stands for Garbage your right… Fedor fought a bunch of bums and past their prime fighters… got a huge win streak… then fought some legit dudes and got destroyed… then went back to fighting bums

      when most of the top HWs are in the UFC its easy to sit on the outside and dominate the rest of the crap fighters

      • Milosc

        Like, former UFC Champions?

      • ufc nev er had the top heavyeights pride did. infact the strikeforce heavyweigths were just as good as the ufc ones if not better, before the two were combined

  • Ugotbutthurtsosad

    Greatest can crusher undoubtedly… Sad too see our freakshow main eventer retire. Who will fill the void?

  • b-soc

    There’s competition and there’s UFC compeitition and you cannot be considered one of the greatest ever unless you’ve proven it against UFC competition. Jake Shields, Hector Lombard, etc. Everybody swims well in the shallow end of the pool.

    • Anthony Lopez

      Umm…. actually the legit competition was in Pride for the most part back then. You know who “ruled” the heavyweight division in UFC back then?…. Tim Silvia, who publicly called out Fedor after a win in UFC. Hmm…. whaaat happened when Fedor eventually fought him? But, people are going to hate simply because they have nothing better to do. The facts are that Fedor fought and beat all the top ranked Heavyweights AT THE TIME.

      • whiteboy94

        Actually the Real competition is in the UFC, All The Pride guys lost in the UFC, Shogun, Wanderlai, Dan Hendo, Gomi, Fedor, Lost in the Zuffa Corporation, Hector Lambard, Rampage, Kid Yamamoto, Dude half of those fighter can’t even keep their jobs inside the UFC.

        • scar

          Actually he said heavyweights but to be extra technical rampage didn’t start losing in the ufc til after he beat ufc poster boy liddell and lombard still has a job with the ufc so I have no clue what yer smoking but it must be good at killing yer braincells “whiteboy” smh lmao….just sad when people refer to themselves by race…

        • shogun won the belt anderson silva is a lon gtime champion. henderson lost to two pride guys jackson and anderson silva. Big nog won the belt. jackson knocked out chuck lidell twice.

          • Triggerman99

            Anderson Silva is no more a former Pride fighter than he is a former Cage Rage fighter. He fought 4 times between his last Pride fight and his first UFC fight, and only 4 of his 37 fights took place in Pride. Sorry, but you don’t get to claim him as a Pride transfer fighter. Henderson is Pride transfer, so him losing to another one in Jackson doesn’t carry any weight. Big Nog was only an Interim champ, and the guy he beat to get it was 1-1 in his last 2 fights and left the UFC after that loss.
            I can go on all day…….

          • nog also beat coture. and yeah the guy(Sylvia) was 1 in 1 cause he was fighting championship bouts

          • Triggerman99

            Nope. Win over Vera (non-title bout) and loss to Nog (Interim title bout).

        • big_scooter

          The competition is NOW in the UFC. It wasn’t when these guys were in their prime. You realize those guys fought professionally for 10 years before switching to the UFC in the twilight of their career, right? Most of the people who were fighting in the UFC when those guys were dominating Pride retired or became irrelevant years ago. The UFC champs were Sean Sherk, Matt Hughes, Rich Franklin, Chuck LIddell, and Tim Silvia. How many of them are even around anymore?

        • Anderson Silva was a Pride guy.!.! Rampage came over from pride and knocked out Lidell, for the second time. Hendo gave silva his best fight, and Anderson Silva’s only career losses came in Pride. Nogueria was briefly a Ufc interm champ and beat coture. Keep your b.s to yourself.

          • Triggerman99

            I already replied to this same arguement, so I’m not going to repeat myself.

      • Triggerman99

        I don’t get what the arguement is here. Dana said Fedor was one of the best HWs. Are you trying to argue further than that? If you are going to try and still say that Fedor was or is the greatest fighter period, you’re kidding yourself.

        • fedor best fighter all time beside anderson silva

          1 anderson silva
          2 Fedor
          3 Dan Henderson

    • Fedor comprted in pride in hs hey day. the pride heavywieghts were better then the ufc heavyweights and he beat pretty much all the ufc heavyweight champs from that period. barnett sylvie orlvlaski radleman big nog. infact pride had the better fighters when it was around.

      • krakrara

        he never beat barnett 😀

    • dd

      pride were better than the ufc..the ufc had to prove themself in pride..they sent their best fighter (chuck liddell) to compete in pride and he got owned

      • Triggerman99

        And every Pride fighter since then that has come to the UFC has gotten owned.

        • vincearizala

          yes because they had too many f*ckin injuries from Pride fights, and not to mention they already aged. Pride fighters become champions in UFC, it just happen that the new fighters will rise to beat the old ones.

          • Triggerman99

            Yeah, some definitely did. I won’t deny that. But this notion that Pride as a whole was head-and-shoulders above the UFC is ridiculous.

    • BigDaddyMMA

      Your comment holds no weight, because during Fedor’s prime, Pride had the best HWT fighters in the world. Asking him to maintain the same accomplishments he had back then, is like asking Barry Sanders to come back and play high-level football in the NFL today, think about what your saying next time.

  • julian moran

    This statement is only of promotional motives.
    Since Fedor is no longer fighting for other promotions, Dana can openly admit that he was a great fighter, trying to sound more legitimate to educated mma fans, getting them to take the ufc more seriously.

  • julian moran

    For ufc sheeps that fell for the Dana White’s ” anty Fedor” propaganda.

    When Fedor was considered the number 1 HW on the planet. The UFC HW champions were Tim Sylvia, Andrei Arlovsky and Randy Couture. When Fedor ended up fighting them, he finished both Sylvia and Arlovsky in the first round. Couture ended up loosing to Pride Champion Nogueira.
    According to this information, one can safely say that Fedor was the best in the world.

    • Triggerman99

      You mean just like Dana said? Yeah, that’s correct; he was one of the best HWs in the world. But that’s a far cry from “Greatest Fighter Ever”. Fedor is not the greatest MMA fighter ever. He may be top 5, but certainly not the best. I base that on knowledge of the sport and what I see with my own two eyes, not Dana or any kind of “propaganda”.

    • Bernard

      Did you watch the Fedor vs Arlovsky fight? Arlovsky started training with Freddie Roach before the fight. He was owning Fedor in the stand up with basic 1 2 combos. That’s what you do when you’re 6’5″ and your opponent is only 6′. Which is any boxing coach will tell you to do. Arlovsky got excited and decided to throw a flying knee and got caught with a Fedor overhand right. You get caught with a Fedor overhand right and you get KO’d.

      • Sansome

        But look at the fight more closely. Fedor was blocking and evading many of those punches. I believe even the great MMA analyst Jack Slack did an analysis of this fight and concluded that Fedor was doing a much better job of avoiding Arlovsky’s assaults that many gave him credit for.

  • julian moran

    More information for you guys regarding Fedor.

    These were the rankings of Fedor’s opponents back in the day(when he fought them).

    Brett Rogers #6
    Andrei Arlovsky #2
    Tim Sylvia #5
    Crocop #2
    Nogueira #2
    Coleman top 10

    Fujita top 10

    Nogueira #1
    Heath Herring top 5

    So Fedor did fight some top level competition. One now could make the argument that some of them were not that good then. But then they were considered to be the best.

    Just like now people can admit that UFC HW champion Brock Lesnar was never the best, even though back then he was considered to be #1 in the world.

    • Denny Periard

      im a huge lesnar fan but i never believed him to be top 10 ever even with ufc gold that was just luck period. Same as with fedor imo he fought OUT OF PRIME HACKS with the exception of nogueira and crocop all the guys he fought in pride left UFC due to contract desputes or they were on crap losing streaks Fedor got lucky he lost to DAN HENDERSON at 206 pounds……………….. not just a small loss he got pwned on the ground when you got an international sambo champion who cant hold a wrestler down who is in his 40’s lol well you proved to the world you were nothing but a luck fighter and i wouldnt be surprised if some of his fights were completely fixed as pride have had that reputation for their money maker fights so all you fedor keybord warrior fans are idiots who cant see the forest from the trees and smell their own **** on their knees. for years he fought no bodies then got more nothing hes a joke PERIOD!

      • u don’t know shit pride heavywiehgts were better. fedor beat pretty much evey ufc heavyweigt.

        btw he should of been a light heavyweight but was so bad ass he fought at heavyweight

        • Sansome

          Yes and look how a past his prime Mark Hunt caused JDS plenty of problems and caused a draw with a juiced up Bigfoot. Putting it into perspective, a prime Fedor would be relevant today.

      • deepgrim

        that is a completely ridiculous statement. he won 28 straight fights, when do you think you will see that again in a division were you make one mistake the fight can be over with their heavy hands, and thats what you consider a joke- wake up mate. using one fight against dan henderson to back up your statement too come on- he is the perfect example you make one mistake against him and he will punch your lights out. And tell me who were the 28 fights available at the time for him to fight that would have been up to your standards for him to fight?

    • shanemma

      When was Brock ever considered the best? Most people and mma circles kind of just thought of him as a freakshow flash in the pan, even wwhen he was champion.

      • he was ranked numbedr one on sherdog and espn rankings. he was a one dimensional fighter but a very gooid one dimensional fighter. he could probably beat 85 to 90 percent of heavyweights out there still yeah he got owne3d by cain velasquez and alastir overeem but most fighters are not on that level.

  • whiteboy94

    Fedor always been a kinda guy that doesn’t like the best guys in their Prime, He wants to fight them when the UFC kicks them out, And they retire and come back. Like Tim Sylvia, Ricco Rodriguez, Pedro Rizzo, Jeff Monson this guys are Garbage in 2012 MMA. He fights nobodies I’m Glad Fedor is gone with all his nut hugger fans.

  • Dave Stiles

    Dana White is trying to kiss Fedors arse so he can fight in the UFC for a big PPV watch….

  • Joe

    Funny how when Fedor was in his prime, everyone argued whether he or Rickson was the greatest of all time. Fedor was a great fighter, but the talk of the greatest of all time is always going to be a persons personal opinion. Right now its Anderson “common consensus” but if looses one then all the talk will begin about him being over rated. The fact is he is not and neither was Fedor, but in the fight game, once you pass your prime, you are never the same.

  • octawhat

    I don’t understand why there is such a smear campaign against a guy who never proclaimed himself to be the best, or had any real ego.

    There seems to be a bizarre crusade to prove he was a fraud… Comparing his fights to JDS fights etc… IN HIS ERA (that’s important) Fedor demolished great fighters, and always gave great entertainment value. I don’t think I ever saw a boring Fedor fight… As for calling him ‘one dimensional’ – He could knock you out or submit you… That’s not one dimensional.

    MMA evolves so much in the span of a few years, look at the iceman compared to Jon Jones… They are both greats in their era, and you can’t take away Liddells accomplishments by comparing them to Jones because the sport is now different. But that same rule doesn’t apply to Fedor for some reason.

    Also, the fact Fedor lost some fights at the end doesn’t diminish him either. MMA is tough on the body, and it happens to all great fighters. Matt Hughes will always be remembered for his dominant WW run, not the battle worn version at the end of his career. If Anderson Silva loses tomorrow, will we erase his highlight reel – no. Will we over analyse his opponents during his epic run – no. Hopefully we will all just enjoy his mastery when he was at his peak.

    That’s what we should also do for Fedor.

    • dfn69

      This is the best commentary on this subject and the thread should cease to exist after the above piece. Nicely done octowhat.

  • Fedor was the “Best for that Generation”… The new Generation is more skilled and more well physically prepared thn any time before.. So yes, at that time Fedor was the Last Emperor, The last King of the first generation of mma fighters..

  • Hitman

    Also, Jens Pulver left as the UFC lightweight Champion then lost to Gomi in Pride. It would have been good to see
    Gomi fight in the UFC in his prime.

    • Chad Hunt

      Gomi fought Penn his last fight before he was in Pride and lost. He also beat Pulver 3 years after Jens left the UFC. I think Gomi would have been the 2nd best LW in the UFC behind BJ. It’s too bad Superfights-type fights didn’t happen between Pride & UFC didn’t happen other than Liddell fighting in the ’03 GP. Most matches of guys who were former champs in either promotion were after a guy had been past their prime

  • Mike L

    Fedor cuts to 205 and fights Anderson.