o UFC heavyweight champion has ever successfully defended the belt more than twice. By contrast, Fedor Emelianenko went 28 fights without a loss. While his competition was uneven, the wins included future interim UFC heavyweight champion Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira twice, past UFC heavyweight champion Mark Coleman twice, past UFC heavyweight champion Kevin Randleman, past UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia, and past UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski. That is seven wins against past or future UFC champions.
The Last Emperor’s competition was uneven, but he beat them all. And the wins included future interim UFC heavyweight champion Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira twice, past UFC heavyweight champion Mark Coleman twice, past UFC heavyweight champion Kevin Randleman, past UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia, and past UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski. That is seven wins in all against past or future UFC champions.
This Fedor is widely considered to be the greatest heavyweight of all time in mixed martial arts, and in the eyes of some, the greatest fighter at all weights.
However, during a recent UFC 203 media lunch, Overeem said that Fedor is the greatest fighter of all time, or even the greatest heavyweight.
“He’s a friend of mine,” said Overeem,” was transcribed by Marc Raimondi for MMA Fighting. “I like him as a person. I never had anything negative with him, even when we were supposed to fight and he declined. But at the time that he could test himself — and he had several occasions — he turned down the UFC. And the UFC is where the competition is at. He declined to do that.”
“I think he messed it up with Strikeforce and he totally messed it up in coming back. He fought Maldonado, Maldonado is a light heavyweight. Fedor is a heavyweight. And he actually lost that fight, right?”
Overeem said the UFC had discussed a potential fight with Fedor if they signed the current free agent, but ‘Reem expressed little interest.
“I’m not gonna hunt for somebody who is down,” said Overeem. “Why would I want to beat him? When you look at my résumé, when you look at my career, it’s always been about challenging myself to the max.”
Overeem also dismissed former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum as the heavyweight G.O.A.T.
“I’m not a big fan of his fighting,” Overeem said. “I respect his accomplishments because he’s very tricky and is a clever guy, but I’m just not blown away by his performances. When you look at Fedor, I am way more blown away by his performances. And also somebody like Big Nog, who also had a great run in Pride.”