Last week, one of the greatest, if not THE greatest, mixed martial arts fighter of all time officially retired from the art of combat. "The Last Emperor" Fedor Emelianenko was successful in his last MMA fight against the talented Pedro Rizzo, which brought Fedor's overall MMA record to an extremely impressive 34 wins, 4 losses, and 1 no contest. This doesn't include his various other accomplishments in Martial Arts, including various Judo and Russian SAMBO Championships, as well as countless other Championships and accolades such as "Fighter of the Year/Decade."
Fedor Emelianenko might be the most feared and respected professional fighter of all time in any form of fighting, whether it be mixed martial arts, boxing, or any other combat sports. There have been many great Champions in professional fighting, such as Frank Gotch, Georg Hackenschmidt, Max Baer, "The Cinderella Man" James J. Braddock, Rocky Marciano, Joe Louis, Muhammad Ali, Lou Thesz, Gene LeBell, Ken Shamrock, Royce Gracie, Randy "The Natural" Couture, and others. But at this time in history, the professional fighting sports are at an all-time low, the likes of which has never been seen before. Fedor has retired at a time when there are no great Champions and not many truly honorable fighters in the world.
Professional fighting these days has essentially become nothing but gang warfare. Many fighters are convicted felons who have learned much of their fighting skills in prison. Fight teams are essentially rival gangs, and their gear/merchandise is almost like rival gang colors and gang symbols. Fighters tend to get into unsanctioned fights, sometimes not even in the confines of a ring or cage. The majority of professional fighters these days seem to be common street thugs who really should not even have the right or the privilege to engage in combat.
Just a few months ago, the professional boxer Dereck Chisora allegedly threatened to shoot and murder rival boxer David Haye. Both of these men have earned bad reputations in boxing for their disrespectful attitudes and poor conduct. Former UFC fighter Hermes Franca is currently serving time in jail for sexual abuse charges and is legally considered to be a sex offender. Various other past and present UFC fighters such as Tito Ortiz, Josh Koscheck, Brock Lesnar, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, and countless scores of others, are all known for being cocky, arrogant, and downright disrespectful to their opponents, to the sport as a whole, and to themselves.
Boxing, MMA, and all the combat sports can be compared to the Titanic. Combat sports have hit the iceberg and many people seem to be unaware of it. The majority of fighters these days are disrespectful street thugs, and half the time the fighting fans can't even get their money's worth when they buy a pay-per-view because either the fighters can't compete or a match turns out to be short or boring. Now fighting is obviously not professional wrestling where the matches are staged and the excitement of a match can be controlled, but the big problem is when the fighters can't even compete because of either injury or personal problems, including drugs or criminal activities.
The fact of the matter is that even extremely talented and extremely honorable fighters such as Georges St-Pierre and Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida can't make a positive difference in the world of fighting. Those two gentlemen are both very respectful and honorable men, but having a few honorable fighters in a world of street thugs really doesn't make much of a positive difference, and it also hurts their legacies because their victories have become tainted and meaningless.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship company is really nothing more than the "Underground Facility of Convicts." There are too many fighters here in the United States who have a street thug mentality, and think that wearing a Tapout or UFC shirt makes them a UFC fighter. Nobody seems to want to go out and get a real job anymore. Everybody wants to be a street thug. Everybody wants to be a UFC fighter.
Getting back to the legendary Fedor Emelianenko, who has NEVER fought in the UFC, Fedor's nickname "The Last Emperor" is very appropriate, because he very well could be the last great Champion that professional fighting will ever see.
Fedor mostly cemented his legacy in the Japanese PRIDE Fighting Championships, where he fought many honorable warriors such as Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic, Mark "The Hammer" Coleman, legendary Japanese pro wrestler Yuji Nagata, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, and many other respectable men. The Japanese PRIDE Fighting Championships always had more honor and class than America's UFC and cagefighting promotions.
Fedor Emelianenko was the leader of an honorable class of men. TRUE warriors. Fedor was always a great Champion. A successful Champion. A fighting Champion. A respectable Champion. A TRUE Champion. Even Georges St-Pierre and Lyoto Machida, as successful, talented, and respectful as they are, can never compare to the accomplishments of "The Last Emperor."
Fedor Emelianenko represented a dying breed of honorable professional fighters. Men who understood what it meant to have respect for one's opponent and one's own self. Men who understood what it meant to be good ambassadors for the sport of professional fighting. Not street thugs, not convicted felons, not rival street gangs. Fedor Emelianenko is the Legend of All Legends in the history of modern professional fighting, particularly mixed martial arts fighting. He is quite possibly the greatest Champion in professional fighting since Muhammad Ali, and there are very few fighters from the past 30 years who can compare to Fedor's accomplishments and overall legacy as a respectable and honorable fighter.
Combat sports are dying. Professional fighting, as previously mentioned, has hit an iceberg and is a sinking ship, whether people realize it or want to admit it or not. There are virtually no great Champions in boxing, MMA, or any other forms of fighting. The few that are great and are honorable can only achieve tainted victories over many opponents who are dishonorable and disrespectful. Fedor was a great Champion. Fedor fought great Champions. Fedor defeated great Champions. Fedor may have been the greatest of all Champions. Fedor is quite possibly the Champion of All Champions.
It's been established that mixed martial arts fighting is superior to any single Martial Art form by itself. A world class mixed martial artist, such as Fedor Emelianenko, can usually have their way with somebody who is skilled in only one Martial Art form such as boxing, wrestling, Judo, Karate, Taekwondo, kickboxing, and even Jiu-Jitsu. If Fedor Emelianenko is the greatest mixed martial arts fighter of all time, which many would argue that he is, then Fedor might very well be the greatest fighter of any kind of all time, perhaps even greater than Muhammad Ali or any other great Champions.
Now that Fedor has retired, he is really bringing a big part of the good side of fighting with him. So many great fighters from the past are either retired or dead. Combat sports have gone to the street thugs who threaten to shoot and murder each other. There seems to be a shortage of world class Martial Artists in the world. There might not be any great Champions left, especially here in the United States. Japanese MMA has not recovered, and may never recover, from the death of the PRIDE Fighting Championships.
Fedor Emelianenko was the last carrier of the torch. Fedor was the last great Champion. Fedor was truly "The Last Emperor."
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