Fedor Emelianenko file photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Fedor Emelianenko said his first loss in nearly 10 years came down to over-earnestness and one split-second of hesitation, as Fabricio Werdum trapped the Russian’s head and arm into a 69-second submission finish at Strikeforce “Fedor vs. Werdum” Saturday inside the HP Pavilion.

“At the very beginning of the round, I hit Fabricio and I wanted to finish the fight as soon as possible and at that very moment I made a mistake,” said the 33-year-old fighting legend through his translator following one of the bigger upsets in MMA history.

By all accounts, “The Last Emperor” seemed off to a strong start as he flurried early with the 6-foot-4 Werdum and seemed to knock the Brazilian off-balance and to his back.

However, Werdum, a jiu-jitsu black belt who’d twice been crowned an Abu Dhabi World Submission Grappling champion, wasn’t as hurt as Emelianenko thought him to be.

Werdum systematically applied both an armbar and a triangle choke at the same time as Emelianenko charged into his guard. The 12,000-plus in attendance watched and waited as Emelianenko maneuvered to free himself, as Werdum alternated pressure between the two holds and tightened his grasp. Emelianenko said he tapped out to the triangle choke.

“Certainly there were several moments when I could escape, but I relied on myself too much and that’s why I paid for it,” said Emelianenko. “At the very moment that I had to escape, I stopped. I didn’t do that and that moment was used by Fabricio to lock his clinch, to finish locking up his legs.”

Emelianenko, who was said to have been consoling his sullen team members backstage afterward, was characteristically calm following the defeat, smiling to the press as he answered questions.

“It happens that I was made kind of an idol,” said Emelianenko. “Everybody loses. That happens. I’m an ordinary human being, as is all of us and if it is God’s will, the next fight I will win.”

The Russian star said he would welcome a rematch with Werdum if the Brazilian granted it.

“I am very, very sorry and it’s a pity that I disappointed people that really believed in me and trusted me, but everything in this life happens for some reason,” said Emelianenko.

Emelianenko made no excuses for the loss. He said his camp went according to plan and nothing felt or appeared out of the ordinary as he headed into his 34th professional bout.

“I tried to work out (motivated) to come into the fight in my best shape and the fight today showed that maybe I didn’t work enough,” he said. “I didn’t manage to make all my technique to become automatic. That means I will have to work more.”

When asked about retirement, Emelianenko said he would at least return to fight the final bout on his co-promotional contract between M-1 Global and Strikeforce.

The defeat that few saw coming put preliminary plans to pair Emelianenko against Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem on ice.

Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker had predicted that Werdum would pull off the upset and said many underestimated the Brazilian’s abilities.

“I think Fedor felt he hurt him and wanted to take him out,” said Coker. “I don’t want to say he got greedy, but maybe he got a little greedy. He went down to go for the knockout and he fell right into Fabricio’s strength.”

Coker stood by his belief that Emelianenko is the “greatest mixed martial arts fighter ever,” and urged others to remember the former Pride champion’s impressive body of work, which includes victories over Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic and former UFC champions Tim Sylvia and Andrei Arlovski, to name a few.

“I don’t want people to start disparaging Fedor,” said Coker. “Let me tell you, the guy’s still an amazing fighter and you’ll see him come back. He’ll come back with a vengeance.”

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Fedor Emelianenko appearance at Bellator 'Fan Fest' fans flames for MMA return

  • 19 days ago

Widely considered at one time to be the best Heavyweight mixed martial artist (MMA) on the planet, Fedor "The Last Emperor" Emelianenko both delighted and frustrated fans by appearing at Bellator "Fa read news >>

Randy Couture: I’m happily retired, but I want to see where Fedor goes

  • 20 days ago

At one time, Randy Couture vs. Fedor Emelianenko was the fight to make in the heavyweight division. It was the dream matchup to make, a meeting of two titans who ruled over separate promotions.Filed read news >>

Video: English-speaking Fedor Emelianenko promises announcement, new promotion within next three weeks

  • 20 days ago

Where is Fedor Emelianenko going to fight? The former PRIDE FC heavyweight champion announced his return to mixed martial arts (MMA) back in July, but the details of when and where he's going to comp read news >>

Video: Fedor discusses return to MMA, ongoing negotiations and favourite Russian fighters

  • 20 days ago

Legendary Russian heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko spoke to MMAFighting.com’s Luke Thomas about a wide variety of topics including his ongoing negotiations, his return to MMA, and his favourite Russian read news >>

Video: Fedor Emelianenko vs. Randy Couture face off at Bellator

  • 20 days ago

Watch Fedor Emelianenko and Randy Couture do a stare down with Bellator's Scott Coker. read news >>

Fedor Emelianenko on the reason for his MMA comeback: 'I feel I am ready'

  • 21 days ago

SAN JOSE -- Legendary MMA heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko spoke to MMA Fighting at Thursday's Bellator Dynamite media event about the state of Russian MMA, his favorite Russian fighter, why he's making read news >>

Fedor Emelianenko vs. Randy Couture staredown

  • 21 days ago

SAN JOSE -- Two legendary fighters in Fedor Emelianenko and Randy Couture took part in Thursday's Bellator Dynamite media event. Just for fun, the pair posed for photographs and even engaged in a sta read news >>

Fedor Emelianenko and Co. keeping Dana White in the dark about possible UFC return

  • 21 days ago

Well, what's the hold up? This could very well turn out to be the greatest troll job in the history of mixed martial arts (MMA). Either that, or former PRIDE FC heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko read news >>

Sonnen suggests UFC have Fedor Emelianenko vs. Anderson Silva in the works

  • 22 days ago

'The American Gangster' insinuated that the UFC were in the process of booking Fedor Emelianenko vs. Anderson Silva on his most recent podcast. Despite currently serving a two-year ban by the NSAC fo read news >>

Pic: Gabi Garcia shrinks, woos Fedor Emelianenko with Brazilian beauty

  • 23 days ago

Hey, remember when Gabi Garcia was bench-pressing Volkswagens and tearing the arms off female grapplers? Those days may be over as the nine-time Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion is currently strutt read news >>