Fedor Emelianenko: The Greed Behind the Enchanted Fantasy

James Ryan

“The truth is often avoided because it is ugly and unpleasant. Never appeal to truth and reality unless you are prepared for the anger that comes from disenchantment. Life is so harsh and distressing that people who can manufacture romance or conjure up fantasy are like oasis in the desert: Everyone flocks to them. There is great power in tapping into the fantasies of the masses.”

You may want to sit down for this one…

To say that Fedor “The Last Emperor” Emelianenko is the type of fighter who inspires mixed feelings throughout the MMA Community would be a tremendous understatement indeed.

The “Haters” insist that Fedor is nothing more than an over-hyped, Russian fairy tale who avoids the UFC for fear of being exposed as a total fraud.

The “Maniacs” (the term “fans” just doesn’t do Fedor worshippers justice) believe that Fedor holds God-like powers such as the ability to “farmer’s hankerchief” lightning bolts from his nostrils, and is without question the greatest fighter that ever was, and the greatest fighter that there will ever be.

Personally, I’m still trying to sort through all of the nonsense, which can be quite excruciating at times. I have listened to both sides of the fence in an attempt to make up my own mind but quite frankly; neither side seems capable of making a very compelling argument, in my opinion.

Hmmm…how will this debate ever be settled?

Well, one only needs to look as far as Fedor’s peers to find the true answer—but remember, actions speak louder than words.

For starters, consider the great lengths and sacrifices that many of these professional fighters have gone through to fight guys that they have perceived to be the very best.

It has bordered on the insane.

So then, wouldn’t you think that at least one of them—no wait…scratch that!—ALL of them, would be more than willing to leave the UFC for the opportunity to fight the “best in the world?”

Seems like a no-brainer.

It’s not as though the UFC pays their fighters heaps of money (just ask Shane Carwin), and even if they did, it’s not supposed to be about the money, is it?

Carwin recently said on his blog that he doesn’t fight for the money—he fights because he loves it.

Sounds pretty righteous.


This coming from a man who is guaranteed to take home no less than $40,000 in a week from now just for showing up for work. Not bad for a day’s pay.

If fighting the best of the best is the greater priority, then why wouldn’t Carwin (as an example) and so many others in the UFC make their way over to Strikeforce in order to fight Fedor, if Fedor is refusing to come to the UFC?

Fedor may not be the impact fighter that he once was, but he’s still the best, isn’t he?

Or is he?

Here’s a thought for Mr. Carwin—after he loses to Brock Lesnar at UFC 116 (that’s right, I said it!), perhaps he should consider signing with Strikeforce, particularly if his career is about more than just the money. That way, he could fight the best in the world, right?

In other words—put up or shut up.

Heck, I’ll personally make the call to Scott Coker on his behalf. I am quite confident that Mr. Coker would love to have Carwin as a part of his organization, and who knows, he might even be in a position to pay him close to what the UFC is paying him.

But don’t worry big guy, we get it—that doesn’t matter to you.

And speaking of money…

A recent report came out by M-1 that Fedor doesn’t need to fight in the UFC because he’s already the highest paid athlete in MMA thanks to his deal with M-1 and Strikeforce.

Wait…I’m confused…so it IS about the money? Is that to say that if Fedor weren’t already rich beyond his wildest dreams that he would actually consider fighting in the UFC?

Forget about what the fans want I guess—Fedor doesn’t “need” the money. Perhaps that will be his legacy.

Oh wait…that’s right, Fedor apparently doesn’t care about his legacy either. What public figure [slash] professional athlete [slash] aspiring politician (liar) would?

None that I can think of ;)

There’s a reason that Fedor doesn’t depict himself as a guy who cares too much about his own legacy (or anything else for that matter) and it has nothing to do with being humble.

The perception of “humble” quickly and easily translates into fan respect. Only it’s a phoney interpretation.

It would seem that Fedor and the UFC have more in common with each other then we’ve all come to realize. Here’s what I think that Fedor and his travelling circus management team have figured out:

“Disdain things that you cannot have—ignoring them is the best revenge. The more attention you pay an enemy, the stronger you make him. If there is something that you want but cannot have, show contempt for it. The less interest you reveal, the more superior you seem.”

The real proof that Fedor isn’t the best probably lies in the simple fact that UFC fighters are indescribably loyal to a company that has been known to fire its employees after only one or two disappointing losses, also known as “the inevitable.”

Who wouldn’t want to stay loyal to a company like that?

Oh what an honour and a privilege to be fired by the all-mighty UFC.

Too bad for Fedor, he’ll never find out. He simply doesn’t need the money.

How’s that for appalling motivation?

These are my opinions. If you don’t like them…I have others. Check them out at www.mrjamesryan.com

James Ryan
James Ryan


  1. Melissa

    Great article- interesting take on the topic.

  2. Brandon

    Good article. Your point is well executed through your writing. Keep up the good work!

  3. Douglas

    Enjoyed your article! Put a smile on my face just reading it. Lol You make some good valid points that can only be disproved by action. Once in my life Iturned down a raise in an effort to make a point and changes for the company I was working for, but looking back I wish I wouldn’t of made that choice. I was young and nieve. Point being once you have financial success a person wants more and they will make decisions based on that goal. When a fighter says they don’t fight for the money I believe what they really are saying is I love fighting and would do it for less if I had too, but I am going to get paid as much as I can. So in a way they are being honest, but I guarantee the money effects all their decisions.

  4. Angel

    Say what you will about Fedor Emelianenko… I’ve always been a fan… but the thruth of the matter is that he would not cut it in the actual top HW’s of today…

    IF he was to sign with the UFC (which he will not) he would lose three of his first five fights…

  5. Scuba Steve

    hahaha brilliant James! Once again – agree or disagree – you have done an excellent job in creating a very thought provoking piece. Job well done!

  6. Mohawk

    Fedor is overrated! Wouldn’t survive with UFC HWT’s.

  7. John

    These guys need to fight the best! It’s getting as bad as boxing!

  8. Personally with all of the B.S. and politics aside I think Fedor is one of the best of all time. Let me very briefly explain why. He only has one blemish and beat people at thier game While they were in their prime. Fedor played in Nogs guard, stood with Cro Cop, and even subbed coleman off his back. This guy has done his fair share of creating his own fairy tail legend.

    I especially liked your point of asking why all of these great UFC heavyweights don’t just leave and fight him to prove that he’s not that great. Let them try and take away his legacy with their ability (hands & feet), not with the words from their mouths. I’d pay to see it.


  9. FightCo

    he sounds like a tuf competitor or he really has some great marketing team behind him, one of the two I guess we’ll see

  10. mike cooper

    Seriously , The Longest win streak as a heavyweight , does not have to sell his fights by getting involved in the hype like other organizations who have to have this massive prime time show to hype up their events onto to end with two guys literally hugging for 3 to 5 rounds because they might get hit and lose the fight , This man is all about personal and national pride , he never forgot where he came from. he has beat alot of the guys the ufc has signed as their heavyweight superstars but he beat them in their prime. all your guys and the ufc are trying to do is discredit a true champion to sell tickets to the ufc , and though it may look like the ufc is the biggest thing in MMA , they won’t always be , remember when pride was around they were way bigger than the ufc at that time so obviously the best went there , mixed martial arts is about martial arts , your comparing this legend to wrestlers who have crossed over to the game , And on a final note anyone that says this mans not the best needs to ask Dana White why he can’t sleep at night and is chasing this man all over the world trying to sign him , if hes not the best i am pretty confused as to why everyone discredits him for not wanting to fight in the ufc. Maybe some people have enough self respect that they just can;t be bought. Hats off to Fedor for being the best and for not falling into the make us millions ufc anti fedor campain. and if you want to know what the best pound for pounds heavyweight in the worlds resume should look like i have enclosed that too. Master of Sports in Sambo and Judo of Russia. Numerous Judo, Sambo and Combat Sambo Russian National Champion. WAMMA World Heavyweight Champion, Pride World Heavyweight Champion, Pride Grand Prix Tournament Champion, Rings Kings of Kings Tournament Champion, Rings World Class Tournament Champion.

  11. nice post, fedor is really just another kind of person…

  12. Malcolm

    Nice article James. Your analysis of the “reality” is probably as close to the truth as we are likely to get.

    I have been a Fedor fan since the early Pride days. He consistently demonstrated a way to win regardless of the opponent and their respective strengths. He also ran the division in his day. The problem is that he has seemingly fought more of the “cast offs” in recent years. Arloviski and Silvia both showed significant weaknesses amoung UFC rivals before they took on and lost to Fedor. Still, I’d love to see him fight Carwin or Lesnar or even Couture or Mir.

    I love the Carwin challenge!

  13. Jim

    I think he is over rated. I think he has fought some quality opponents over the course of his career, but I believe to call him the best pound for pound fighter on the planet is ludicrous to say the least. I believe Alistar would beat Fedor, if he ever fought him. Not to mention some of the phenomenal talent in UFC (Cain Velasquez, Shane Carwin, Brock Lesnar, Dos Santos)

  14. Akvile

    I really wouldn’t call brock lesnar phenomenal talent lol! :) i think fedor is an awsome fighter, it’s his strategy that makes him so good. it’s true tho that everyone is looking for him to fight the best and the best (or best advertised, to be more precise) fighters are in UFC. and again, this may never happen, since ufc is not going into co-promotion and doesn’t allow fighters to cross participate. well it’s their company and their business so what can we small people say. only the way they are doing if they can’t buy a fighter they trash him, it’s not fair, smells like soviet propaganda

  15. Coach Carter

    James. I have always been a big fan of Fedor. I believe the fight of the century could be Russia vs USA. You know what I’m leading to!
    Could this be promoted as one of the greatest heavy weight fights of all time???
    Coach Carter AIE

  16. Canadian Amateur Fight League

    Fedor is part of our organization and I personally think he is the best in the world. He has proven it over and over. Like you said why would he want to be a part of an organization who fires or gets rid of their prime fighters if they lose. Puts Chuck Liddell back in the cage after being knocked out what 4 times. That is plain dangerous and irresponsible.

  17. East Coast Fight League

    diaz == would beat gsp

    fedor would destroy lesner

    Ali was the greatest because of what he did in his lifetime in boxing and was a ambassador to the sport. as fedor HAS already done , would ali be less of a great man because he did not fight tyson? again everyone is buying into the ufc we are mma and trying to discredit the best heavyweight in the world (check the world rankings anywhere i am not alone here) so he will feel like he has something to prove by fighting in a we are better than the rest of the world organization , pride was way bigger than the ufc in its day , the best fighters fought there, Ask liddell how the ufc had the best fighters then when he went over and got knocked out in pride.
    the ufc ill not always be the biggest in the world , and the best fighters will not always be in the ufc , i would have a hard time as a world class fighter wanting to base my career on a organization that will respect you when your winning then drop you the minute your not. someone has to lose/ unfortunatly for guys that think like you do it has not been fedor for many years. And to disrespect Strikeforce is pretty low when they are offering women the opportunity to compete , something the ufc does not , and i don’t pay 50 dollars everytime they have a event to be disapointed because all the pre show was hype and the fight was based on holding for the entire fight , or as they call it octagon control. its mma get up and fight.
    Master of Sports in Sambo and Judo of Russia. Numerous Judo, Sambo and Combat Sambo Russian National Champion. WAMMA World Heavyweight Champion, Pride World Heavyweight Champion, Pride Grand Prix Tournament Champion, Rings Kings of Kings Tournament Champion, Rings World Class Tournament Champion.

    looks like a good heavyweight resume to me.
    Fedor is also the head of MMA for one of the most respected Martial Arts organization in the world the ajjif.

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