My Thoughts on Fedor…

First, congratulations to Fedor for his victory New Year’s Eve.  It seems in the world of MMA everybody has an opinion on Fedor.  Most consider Fedor the best pound for pound fighter in all of MMA.  Others openly question the level of competition he has faced and feel that since he is so good he should be challenging the world’s best heavyweights.  I tend to fall somewhere in the middle.  I think Fedor is good, really good.  I would not question his record.  He has one loss on his record, which he avenged.  He has beaten good fighters like Arona, Cro Cop, Nogueira, Mark Hunt, Kevin Randleman, and Matt Lindland.  Those that question his recent fights may have some room to argue, but come on he beat Matt Lindland, who is no push over, all though he had a serious size and weight advantage. 

   I have to say the New Year’s eve fight with Hong Man Choi aggervated me slightly.  The guy was huge, but if Fedor wants to be regarded as the bets he needs to fight the best.  He fought Choi, when he could have fought Couture.  I guess the question for Fedor is who he didn’t sign with the UFC?  No one would argue that UFC has the best fighters and the best heavyweights.  Here are some reasons I have heard and some speculations as to why he chose M1 over UFC…

  • He was insulted by Dana White’s offer and felt he deserved more
  • $$$$$$$$$
  • UFC didn’t want to allow him to fight in the Sambo fights, which he loves
  • The failure of former PRIDE greats in the UFC (Shogun and Cro Cop)
  • He didn’t want to move
  • He didn’t want to get a blemish on his record (I am not saying he was scared to fight Randy, but I wonder how he would have done against other UFC heavyweights like Gonzaga, Kongo, Tim Sylvia, and Brandon Vera.  He did fight good guys in PRIDE, but he would constantly be asked to fight the best the UFC had to offer.
  • He felt he could help build another fight organization (Perhaps his presence could draw other heavyweights like Randy Couture to M1). 

There are some things you can be sure of.  First, Fedor isn’t concerned about having a bigger fan base.  Signing with the UFC would have been the choice if he wanted the fame, attention, and marketing worldwide and in the U.S.  He would have been thrown into the top 5 UFC fighter category.  He would have been a huge draw any time.  What is M1 anyways?  My opinion is that he made a dumb decision.  Perhaps M1 offered him more momey up front, but M1 could never get him the money in endorsments and sponsors that UFC would have.  The fight with Randy is a MMA dream match a la Silva vs. Liddell.  The longer this fight is delayed the less anticipated it will be with Randy’s age becoming a factor. 

   Is Fedor the best heavyweight?  There is a good chance, but that will never be settled until he fights the most popular heavyweight in Couture.  I would add he needs a steady diet of good fighters like Sylvia, Vera, Cro Cop, Arlovski, etc.  Will Fedor help M1?  Yes.  Will M1 help Fedor?  Maybe some, but if you ask me UFC was the place for him to prove himself as the world’s best.  Perhaps his ego, perhaps Dana White’s ego, perhaps money or contract allowances go in the way.  Whatever the case may be I would like to see Fedor fight better guys than Choi.

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