For the majority of this decade, the name Fedor Emelianenko has struck fear into the hearts of heavyweight MMA fighters everywhere. Recognized as the most skilled and dominant fighter the sport has ever seen, Emelianenko has continuously beaten down all comers.
During his illustrious career, Emelianenko has worked on the reputation of having superior jiu-jitsu skills, unforgiving ground and pound, and lightning fast hands. His ability to overcome adversity in the ring or cage is second to none, as highlighted in his fights with Kaz Fujita, Kevin Randleman and more recently Brett Rogers. Which brings me to the focal point of this article.
Fedor, although an immaculate striker, has never been renowned for one-punch knockout power. His punching strength and effectiveness has come in bunches – flurries meant to stun and drop opponents to the canvas, where he could then implement his continuously successful techniques of GnP and submission. As much as these skills are still a staple of his arsenal, we have been witness to a new skillset in his last two fights – one punch knockout power.
Brett Rogers is a behemoth of a man, standing roughly 6’5 and weighing in at around 270 lbs. He is a knockout artist, with unbelievable power, and is a highly unlikely candidate to be knocked out himself, in one punch. On November 7th of this year, Fedor, in fact did this. Although heavily favoured to beat Rogers (who bets against a guy who is literally undefeated in 33 professional fights?), the general consensus was that he would wrestle Brett to the ground, and quicky submit him via armbar or rear naked choke. In my lengthy searches of MMA forums prior to the fight, I can’t recall reading an opinion believing Fedor would actually knock Rogers out.
Most people now claim Andrei Arlovski as a fighter with a “glass jaw”, but are also unaware that this moniker came about as a result of his knockout loss to Emelianenko and ironically, Brett Rogers. After showing early success against Fedor, Arlovski made a critical error in an attempt at a flying knee – and was subsequently knocked out in mid-air via a devastating overhand right.
Rogers and Arlovski are big heavyweights, and in back-to-back fights, Fedor has knocked them both out with one punch. This is a scary trend folks. Most veteran fighters lose power in their hands, and given the numerous injuries Emelianenko has sustained to his over his 9 year career, one would assume he would follow suit. As he has shown, this isn’t the case.
He continues to defy odds, and shows no sign of slowing down.
Emelianenko was a scary thought, with his regular arsenal of skill – add in the recently acquired skillset of one-punch knockout power, and he just got a whole lot scarier.
MMA heavyweights worldwide, beware. Your nightmare just got worse.