(Video courtesy of YouTube/limonadoss)
There is no greater crime than to be deprived of sharing your gift with the world. Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but to let a god-given talent die on the vine is unforgivable, yet this seems to be the fate of one Aleksander Emelianenko. You see, after fighting in a series of meaningful, competitive battles, Aleks found his true calling as a can-crusher. Each morbid beatdown was a sight to behold, a gift to the masses. Sadly, we are now being robbed of that gift. Sure, he’s still standing across the cage from lesser competition, but they are a dangling carrot that he cannot bite, a mirage in the distance that he’ll never actually reach. Observe:
We first caught a glimpse of this phenomenon when Aleks squared off against Eddy Bengtsson. After a scant forty seconds, Bengtsson succumbed to a phantom punch and deprived Aleks the joy of a brutal finish. Fast-forward to last Friday evening, where Aleks took to punching
heavybag journeyman Tadas Rimkevicius. To his credit, Rimkevicius seemed game to trade until Emelianenko really started to swang them thangs, which forced “The Lithuanian Bear” to dig deep into his bag of tricks (check out that rolling kneebar at 5:20 and tell me that Tadas isn’t the bastard child of Oleg Taktarov and Ryo Chonan). Ol’ Rimke actually catches Aleks with a left hand and drops him as the round draws to a close, which was possibly the closest anyone came to being legitimately put away in a bout that ended via TKO.
The second frame saw Aleks connecting with hard shots to Rimkevicius’ dome. Then, before the big man fell, before he was even slightly wobbled, he turned away and buried his face in the top rope in defeat. That’s not why you’re here, Tadas! Poor Aleks seems doomed to a never-ending sequence of pugilistic foreplay; it’s a bunch of jabs and stiff ones but he can never fully unload. You’ve got to feel bad for the guy. Then again, maybe it’s wrong to blame these dudes for not going all the way. Better safe than sorry, right?