As Dana White Rewrites History, Fedor Emelianenko’s Legacy Remains Unchanged

By Jonathan Snowden

I will never forget crossing paths with the great Fedor Emelianenko, if only for a moment. Backstage in Chicago, waiting like the rest of the MMA world for the peerless champion to face Brett Rogers in the main event, he brushed my camera as he walked towards the cage. As he waited to make his entrance, I was shocked by what I saw. The stoic champion, so emotionless in front of the media, was pacing back and forth. As he marked his territory like a jungle cat, wearing a path in the cold Chicago cement, he periodically let out a yell.

M-1 personnel asked me to stop filming. This was not part of the public face of Fedor Emelianenko. It was the first sign I’d ever seen that the man was even human.

There were more signs that evening as the Fedor myth started to be put to bed. Rogers, who unless things change dramatically, will go down in history as an average fighter. And average fighters aren’t supposed to give the greats such a struggle. Emelianenko was slowing down it seemed. He would be caught in his very next fight against Fabricio Werdum and again last night against Antonio Silva. If it wasn’t clear against Rogers, it’s crystal now: Fedor Emelianenko is no longer the world’s best fighter.

Of course, that doesn’t mean critics should dismiss a decade’s worth of accomplishments. Last night UFC President Dana White took to Twitter to do just that. In a series of posts cursing at fans and mocking the Russian star, White attempted to recast Emelianenko as someone he never really though was any good.

“wtf has he done for the sport!? Ur f**kin nuts,” White said in response to a fan asking him to show a little respect to the fallen fighter. “I honestly believe he has been done for a while but he would have at least gone out fighting the best.”

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