Sherdog’s Top 10: Fighters of the 2000s

No. 1

By Brian Knapp Feb 16, 2017

1. Fedor Emelianenko

The greatest heavyweight of all-time was an irresistible force in his prime. Emelianenko had knockout power in his hands, could submit opponents from virtually any position and wielded perhaps the most ferocious ground-and-pound in the history of the sport. Terminator-like stoicism made “The Last Emperor” even more terrifying. Emelianenko claimed the Pride Fighting Championships heavyweight title with a unanimous decision over fellow great Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in March 2003 and never relinquished it. The victory, his first of two against Nogueira, was part of a historic run of success for “The Last Emperor.” From April 6, 2001 until Nov. 7, 2009, he put together an almost unimaginable 27-0 record. Though Emelianenko still has never competed inside the Ultimate Fighting Championship, he holds wins over four former UFC champions -- Mark Coleman (twice), Kevin Randleman, Andrei Arlovski and Tim Sylvia -- and three Olympic medalists: Satoshi Ishii, Matt Lindland and Naoya Ogawa. He has also beaten four-time K-1 World Grand Prix winner Semmy Schilt and 2006 Pride open weight grand prix winner Mirko Filipovic.


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