Daniel Cormier isn’t sold on the idea that Fedor Emelianenko would’ve had success in 2009 under the UFC banner.
Fedor once ruled the heavyweight division in Pride FC. Emelianenko bested the likes of Mirko Cro Cop, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, and Kevin Randleman. Once Pride FC folded, Emelianenko fought under the short-lived Affliction banner. Following first-round finishes over Tim Sylvia and Andrei Arlovski, many wondered if “The Last Emperor” was UFC-bound.
The UFC did indeed want to bring Fedor Emelianenko in but talks between the two sides soured. Fedor ended up signing with Strikeforce.
Daniel Cormier Thinks Fedor Emelianenko Would’ve Struggled In UFC
During a special Debate DC chat with Sam Morrison, Daniel Cormier explained why he believes Emelianenko would’ve had a tough time if he signed with the UFC in 2009 (h/t MMAFighting.com).
“We’re talking a window of 2009-11. (That’s) where the UFC dealt with Fedor or at least tried to make something happen. The UFC was interested for a long time, until he went to Bellator and then obviously he’s off limits. But all the time, Fedor kind of flew around, fighting in organizations, things can still be done.
“Versus Brock Lesnar, I’ll give you that. I think he beats Brock Lesnar. But outside of that, I don’t think Fedor competes very well in the UFC. I think that, honestly, Fedor not going to the UFC allowed for the intrigue to stay, but the reality of the situation is he would not have done well against those guys like JDS (Junior dos Santos), he wasn’t beating Cain Velasquez, he would have struggled with guys like Cheick Kongo. He was not beating those guys that were at the top of the UFC at that time. I’m certain of it.”
Emelianenko is gearing up for his Bellator 269 showdown with Timothy Johnson. The action will be held inside the VTB Arena in Moscow, Russia on Saturday (Oct. 23).
As for Cormier, he has retired from MMA competition. These days, Cormier focuses on his UFC commentary duties as well as coaching a high school wrestling team.