Should Fedor Emelianenko be in the UFC Hall of Fame?
Sure, it sounds like a ludicrous question, considering that Fedor never fought in the UFC. But if the UFC is truly the undisputed king of MMA, the company should consider including the greatest MMA fighters of all-time, even if they never fought for the company directly.
The UFC already owns the entire PRIDE library, where Fedor has his greatest run. Inducting Fedor into the HOF certainly wouldn’t boost any other competing MMA promotion and putting Fedor in the HOF might also give fans another reason to buy the UFC network, which gives viewers access to an entire fight library from past to present.
If the UFC were to induct Fedor, the company could more easily promote his matches as part of the UFC network library and also introduce those new to MMA the roots of the sport, thereby solidifying fan interest beyond the usual hype.
Fedor was undefeated from 2001 to 2009. He beat former UFC greats during that time, including Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira, Mark Coleman, Kevin Randleman, Mirko Cro Cop Filipovic, Mark Hunt, Andrei Arlovski, Tim Sylvia, Heath Herring and Matt Lindland.
Fedor is regarded as one of, if not the greatest mixed martial artist of all-time by many critics and observers. He was never the biggest dog in the fight, but he used his grappling and sambo to overpower his opponents.
Emelianenko also won the 2004 Pride Grand Prix, among other awards.
Fedor never fought in the UFC because UFC President Dana White and Fedor’s management company M-1 Global were never able to reach a deal. M-1 Global reportedly wanted more money than the UFC was willing to pay (yes, huge surprise there) and also more direct control in the promotion of the fighter, which again is another luxury the UFC is notorious for denying it’s contracted fighters.
The UFC had pushed for a dream match against Brock Lesnar, but the contractual disputes never allowed this fight to take place.
Since White was unsuccessful at signing Emelianenko, he trashed him in public and downgraded the Russian’s accomplishments. (Again, another classic play by the massive fight promotions company.) A move that was likely used to ensure the UFC’s image remained untainted as only having the “best of the best” fighters on it’s rosters.
Emeleianenko’s stock fell after he was defeated three times in Strikeforce by Fabricio Werdum, Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva and Dan Henderson. But Emelianenko had gone nearly a decade without a loss before those defeats.
He finished his career with three victories against lesser opponents to retire with a record of 34-4.
To this day many MMA fans still regard Fedor as one of the all time greats and the UFC only stands to gain good will and additional credibility if it considers burying the hatchet, making a deal with Fedor and inducting him into the HOF.
Does it make any sense to let past grudges exclude Fedor from a hall of MMA fighters that are (by many accounts) undisputedly the best of the best of all time?
Ultimately, SciFighting believe’s it’s the fans who should pick their favorites. So let your voices be heard. Should the UFC acknowledge Fedor’s accomplishments and induct “The Last Emperor” Emelianenko into the Hall of Fame?