It is a matter of opinion, and many may disagree, but to me, Fedor Emilianenko is the GOAT (‘Greatest of All Time’) in MMA. So when the Alistair Overeem drug thing hit and there was a sliver of hope that he might join the UFC after all these years, I must admit I caught a buzz. I even thought it might happen, in that Junior Dos Santos is a house, and a tough matchup for Fedor, and I could see Dana White touching himself in the studio truck as Fedor got beat up. But it fell through, and now we know why – Fedor’s management has opted for him to fight in Russia, taking on Pedro Rizzo in June’s M-1 Global event. I think of Fedor’s legacy and I cringe.
I used to know Pedro Rizzo pretty well, though I haven’t seen him in over 5 years. I like the guy, I have been to his apartment in Rio. Even in his heyday, he was a bit methodical, but he was a brutal kickboxer and his matches with Randy Couture are classics that should be required viewing for MMA fans. But I am growing tired of the growing trend on the part of these non-UFC promotions to recycle fighters that really are not relevant anymore. In the past few months we have seen Bob Sapp, Maurice Smith, James Thompson, Dave Menne, Murillo Bustamante and a long list of folks that should be retired come out to grab one more payday.
Check out the video of the Pedro Rizzo-Ken Shamrock fight, one of Rizzo’s more recent outings, though he hasn’t fought in like 2 years:
I watch that fight, and of course, Fedor is a much more evil fighter than Ken Shamrock, but I have to think that Rizzo has a chance to beat Fedor. Fedor has been more methodical in his recent outings, and Rizzo’s striking will perhaps lead to his caution. I will go on a limb and say that Fedor will likely not take Rizzo down. And those leg kicks, if they start to add up, wil ltake anyone out.
The fact that Fedor takes this fight, rather than test himself on the ultimate stage of the UFC, shows clearly that Fedor is a man not in control of his own career. And that is a shame, because I’ll take Rizzo in this fight, and the Fedor legacy diminishes another lumen.