Fedor Emelianenko is often called the greatest heavyweight in MMA history for a reason. The 46-year-old Russian once fought a 7ft-tall giant in the ring and emerged victorious in less than two minutes.
‘The Last Emperor’ faced Hong Man Choi at the New Year’s Eve MMA event: Yarennoka!, at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, over 15 years ago in 2007. Emelianenko’s South Korean opponent towered almost a foot taller and almost 50-kilos heavier than him.
During the fight, Hong Man Choi managed to get on top of Fedor Emelianenko multiple times, however, the Russian still managed to finish the gigantic Korean fighter. With over 27,000 fans in attendance, the fighting spectacle made for one of the most memorable moments in AXS TV Fights’ history.
The fight started with the MMA legend cautiously keeping his distance before landing a clean left punch to initiate a sambo trip. Due to Hong Man Choi’s height, Emelianenko couldn’t secure a clean takedown and was caught underneath his opponent.
While in the top position, Choi began throwing some heavy ground-and-pound shots at the Russian. However, Fedor Emelianenko displayed his grappling prowess as he caught his opponent’s hand to transition into an arm bar and submitted Hong Man Choi at 1:50 into the bout.
Watch the full fight below:
When Daniel Cormier picked a former rival over Fedor Emelianenko as the heavyweight ‘GOAT’
While many consider Fedor Emelianenko to be the greatest heavyweight in the history of mixed martial arts, former UFC heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier doesn’t agree. Instead, ‘DC’ once named Stipe Miocic as his heavyweight ‘GOAT.’
In February, Emelianenko laid down his gloves and announced his retirement from the sport at Bellator 290. He concluded a career that spanned over two decades after losing his last fight against Ryan Bader via first-round knockout. The legendary heavyweight retired with a professional MMA record of 40-7-1.
While the Russian never competed in the UFC, he held the PRIDE FC heavyweight title.
In an episode of ESPN MMA’s DC & RC Show, Daniel Cormier explained why he considered Stipe Miocic the ‘GOAT’ and cited the 46-year-old’s ‘Cult of Personality,’ saying:
“I think that the myth of Fedor is bigger than what he is in MMA history. It’s lore. It’s the tall tale. I don’t believe he’s the greatest heavyweight of all time. That belongs to Stipe Miocic… The title defenses and the long reign at the top of the division puts him on top. But Fedor is in the top five.”
Watch the full episode below: