You can add UFC light heavyweight champ Lyoto Machida to the ever-growing list of detractors that feel Fedor Emelianenko is not the world’s best heavyweight. In fact, the Brazilian believes that UFC champ Brock Lesnar is the planet’s top heavyweight mixed martial artist.
When asked at the UFC 104 Media Workout whether he felt each UFC champion was the world’s best in their respective division, Machida thought for a split second and confidently stated, “Yes.”
REALLY??? I’m just gonna go down the list right-quick just to make sure:
Lightweight: BJ Penn – CHECK
Welterweight: Georges St-Pierre – CHECK
Middleweight: Anderson Silva – CHECK, CHECK (He gets two because it’s not even close)
Light Heavyweight: Lyoto Machida – CHECK
Heavyweight: Fedor Emelianenko EEESHH! … Brock Lesnar
Sure the former WWE superstar has looked nothing short of dominant in his last few outings, but those wins still only bumped his record to 4-1. Having UFC gold wrapped around his waist certainly helps his cred, but does it really compare to Fedor’s 30-1 pro mark and his 26-fight winning streak?
Apparently, yes …
“Fedor has proven a lot over his career, if you look at the win streak he has,” Machida told 5thRound.com through the translation of his manager, Ed Soares. “But lately, he hasn’t really proven he’s fought the best competition out there.”
Sounds like a quote taken directly out of the pages of “Bashing Fedor” authored by Dana White. The UFC’s president has long-stated if Emelianenko wants to go down as MMA’s G.O.A.T. (Greatest Of All Time), he needs to prove it on the sport’s biggest stage.
Unfortunately, that’s something he’s had the opportunity to do a few times, but opted to snub the UFC for smaller shows that allowed his manger’s company, M-1 Global, to co-promote instead. This routine has worn thin on a lot of MMA fans, and it looks like Machida has hopped on Brock’s bandwagon.
Machida feels that the sport has changed quite a bit since Fedor was running things in Pride FC and everyone considered him the head honcho. Although it’s only been a few years since that time, he feels that, due to Emelianenko’s lax schedule, the MMA world may have passed him by.
“I think the sport is always evolving and I think in the past two years the sport has evolved tremendously,” Machida said. “So it’s really tough to say he’s the best in the world when he hasn’t competed against the best guys in the world.”
Both sides of this argument can be argued, however just because Fedor likes to play with the Jr. Varsity squad doesn’t mean that he still isn’t the best. It’s not as though he accidentally stumbled upon his nearly nine-year winning streak by beating a bunch of cans.
However, Lesnar’s unmatched combination of size, speed, athleticism and punching power may be exactly what Machida is referring to when he says the sport has morphed.
Even when he was dominating in Japan, Fedor never saw anything like Lesnar. And by the looks of it, he never will.