Former UFC two-division champion Daniel Cormier does not think Fedor Emelianenko is the greatest heavyweight fighter of all time.
Emelianenko is widely regarded as one of the greatest mixed martial artists ever. He boasts a stellar resume with multiple championships under his belt and a dominant unbeaten run between 2001 and 2009 under the Pride and Affliction banner. He walked away from professional competition after a final outing against Ryan Bader at Bellator 290.
Following his retirement, many fellow MMA legends paid their tributes to ‘The Last Emperor.’ However, UFC president Dana White was not one of them.
Daniel Cormier says the myth of Fedor Emelianenko is bigger than his credentials
In a recent episode of ESPN’s DC & RC show, Daniel Cormier argued that Fedor can’t be called the heavyweight GOAT. Cormier believes former UFC heavyweight champions Stipe Miocic and Cain Velasquez have done more to earn the honors.
“I think that the myth of Fedor is bigger than what he is in mixed martial arts history,” said Cormier. “It’s the lore, the tall tale. I don’t think he’s the greatest heavyweight of all time. I think that belongs to Stipe Miocic only because Cain Velasquez was injured so much. In terms of skill, there is no one that can ever match Velasquez as a heavyweight. I believe that Stipe Miocic’s title defenses, the long reign he had on top puts him at the top. But Fedor is in the top five and I don’t think it’s anything to be ashamed of.”
Cormier thinks Emelianenko should’ve retired sooner
‘DC’ suggested that Emelianenko stayed longer than he should have in the sport, which might blur his achievements of the past due to the more recent performances.
“When I think of Fedor, I think of back in 2007-09, that scary guy, the Russian who barely spoke. He was quiet. He was like a mythical monster that would show up and he would just beat everyone. When I think of Fedor, I think Fedor is the story of aging fighters who don’t get out when they probably should. He’s 46 years old, fighting Ryan Bader, and he just gets demolished. Then you start to forget about all the great memories that he had because all you remember lately is what you’re seeing.“
Fedor Emelianenko has no regrets after hanging up his gloves. While Cormier and White may not see him as the GOAT, he has received major support from others like Bellator MMA President Scott Coker.