“[Fedor Emelianenko is] not the best pound-for-pound fighter, not even close, but he’s one of the four or five best heavyweights…But we all have to thank him for getting rid of Tim Sylvia. He’d been stinking out the joint the last couple of years and Fedor did everyone a favor by beating him so easily and getting rid of him.”
Daaaaaaamn! You may remember that Dana had previously called Fedor a farce who wasn’t a top five heavyweight, but admitted that his opinion was changed after Affliction: Banned because “Tim Sylvia was a real opponent.” Despite Sylvia’s stinkiness, beating him made Fedor a top-fiver in Dana’s eyes. The optimist in me wonders if Dana is making this mild public praise because hosting a Randy vs. Fedor fight in the UFC is still a possibility, and he doesn’t want the last thing fans hear him say about Emelianenko to be “this dude’s a joke.” If the fight did come together, I wonder what White would say about him then?
Luckily, we already know that Dana’s words mean little to Fedor — particularly because he doesn’t consider himself to be the best pound-for-pound fighter either:
“I don’t consider myself on top of the pedestal,” said Emelianenko…”I have certain weaknesses and I make certain mistakes. Of course, that is frustrating, because like any athlete, I strive to get better each day. I know a lot of the media and the fans want to say I’m the best. I appreciate that, but that’s not how I consider myself.”
“Certain mistakes”? Could you imagine Fedor without those flaws he thinks he has? The dude is living death as it is. I heard that Tra Telligman’s chest looks like that because Fedor accidentally bumped into him once at a party. And how’s this for humility: Fedor doesn’t even put much stock in being a mixed martial artist to begin with:
“This is my job, and to be honest with you, if I didn’t have to work this job, I probably wouldn’t,” he said, chuckling. “It’s how I make my living. It’s even tough to accept this is what I do for [a] living.”