Who is the baddest man on the planet? The man who, when locked in a cage, unarmed, with any other man on Earth, would come out victorious in single combat? Can you tell just by looking at him? See if you can make the correct choice:
Did you pick the guy in the snazzy sweater, Fedor Emelianenko? That’s right: the universally recognized, undefeated, number one ranked heavyweight of the mixed martial arts world is a chubby, bald Russian who dresses like Bill Cosby, except when he dresses like your four-year-old nephew:
Yes, Fedor likes cartoons. While virtually all other fighters cover themselves in tattoos and wear shirts with various combinations of skulls, flames, pit bulls, grim reapers, and more skulls, Fedor is drawing pictures like these:
Such a strange set of traits make Fedor one of the most fascinating characters in any combat sport.
And that’s just scratching the surface.
In a strange inversion of the Rocky IV plot, Fedor trains with a local team with no other top fighters, pounding tires with sledgehammers and chopping wood, while top American fighters train at state of the art gyms with dozens of top fighters, coaches, nutritionists, and personal trainers.
Fedor recently converted to Eastern Orthodox Christianity, and brings his priest, father Andrei, to his fights. Father Andrei bears a disturbing resemblance to Rasputin and holds the gym record for pull ups.
Fedor has won millions in the course of his fight career, but lives in a small apartment with his family. Money seems unimportant to him, now that he has enough of it: he turned down a five million dollar a fight contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championships, offered by the foul-mouthed president, Dana White. Instead, he accepted a less lucrative contract with the little known Strikeforce.
Strikeforce also managed to obtain a network television contract. White failed to do so, likely because of his winning personality. The combination of Fedor and NBC offers a frightening challenge to the UFC: Fedor’s first fight in Strikeforce on Nov 8th, a second-round knockout of the much larger Brett Rogers, drew millions of viewers world wide.
If you’re curious as to how this unassuming fellow has managed to remain undefeated in over 30 fights for over 9 years, be sure to look up some of his fights (such as this highlight or even this vid of Fedor vs. six Koreans).
The transformation once he steps in the cage brings to mind Clark Kent stepping into a phone booth. His ferocious combination of speed and brute force recalls the days of Mike Tyson – and Fedor may just become that level of star.
And these sweaters will become all the rage.