The stage was set Saturday night for Fedor Emelianenko to easily collect his 28th consecutive win and officially launch talk of the biggest fight in MMA history when he challenges heavyweight champ Alistair Overeem for his strap. Unfortunately for the Russian (and M-1 Global, and Strikeforce, and Showtime and CBS), Fabricio Werdum had other ideas.
Despite getting dropped with a barrage of shots in the early ticks, Werdum was able to rally and submit MMA’s Terminator at 1:09 in the 1stRound. After watching the 4-to-1 underdog collapse to his back, Emelianenko rushed in and immediately found himself glued to Werdum’s lanky limbs.
The Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt had the luxury of alternating between triangle choke and arm bar attempts until Fedor reluctantly surrendered to the ground guru by giving Werdum a single tap on the thigh.
“I believed in this victory because of my hard training,” Werdum – who frequents UFC middleweight Mark Munoz’ Reign Training Center in Lake Forest, California – emphatically stated after his shocking win. “I thought [it might be possible to submit him in] the 1stRound because [there’s] not a lot of sweat. [It is easier for me to finish].”
Despite bumping his record to 14-4-1, Werdum admitted this is still Fedor’s kingdom and he was just lucky enough to steal some sunshine for one evening.
“Fedor is the best in the world,” Werdum humbly stated. “This night I beat Fedor, but Fedor is the best.”
Like a true competitor, Werdum wanted to legitimize his upset by calling for an immediate rematch instead of fighting for Overeem’s title.
“Next time, [I’d like a re-match with] Fedor,” Werdum said of his immediate future. “Maybe here [in San Jose], maybe in Russia – no problem. I like Fedor, [I’d] like for everybody to like Fedor. I’m a fan of Fedor, he’s the best in the world.”