In 2009, Emelianenko was linked to signing with the Las Vegas-based promotion, yet it never came to fruition. The Russian then continued to fight in Strikeforce, went to M-1 Global, and now is in Bellator. He has compiled a pro record of 39-6 and one No Contest, but for Cormier, he doesn’t think the heavyweight legend would’ve had much success in the UFC.
“We’re talking a window of 2009-11,” Cormier said on his YouTube channel (via MMAFighting). “(That’s) where the UFC dealt with Fedor or at least tried to make something happen. The UFC was interested for a long time, until he went to Bellator and then obviously he’s off limits. But all the time, Fedor kind of flew around, fighting in organizations, things can still be done. Versus Brock Lesnar, I’ll give you that. I think he beats Brock Lesnar. But outside of that, I don’t think Fedor competes very well in the UFC,” Cormier continued.
“I think that, honestly, Fedor not going to the UFC allowed for the intrigue to stay, but the reality of the situation is he would not have done well against those guys like JDS (Junior dos Santos), he wasn’t beating Cain Velasquez, he would have struggled with guys like Cheick Kongo. He was not beating those guys that were at the top of the UFC at that time. I’m certain of it.
“I know you’re gonna say, ‘ Well he beat this guy, he beat (Antonio Rodrigo) Nogueira and he beat Frank Mir.’ For as great as he is, he would have been, at that time in the sport, average at best. I’m telling you. Fedor Emelianenko in the UFC between 2009-11, average at best,” Cormier added.
Although Daniel Cormier doesn’t think Fedor Emelianenko would’ve had success in the UFC, it is hard to know for sure. He was at the top of the heavyweight mountain for the longest time and has beaten the likes of Mark Hunt, Andrei Arlovski, Mark Coleman, and Mirko Cro Cop among countless others in his career.
However, for Cormier, he thinks who Emelianenko was fighting is the big reason as to why he thinks he would’ve struggled in the UFC.
“It becomes a situation where it makes me feel that I’m talking trash on the great Fedor Emelianenko, when in reality, I like Fedor Emelianenko,” Cormier concluded. “But we’re talking about a guy that was fighting Brett Rogers. He was fighting Brett Rogers in Strikeforce. The story was that Brett Rogers was a Walmart tire employee and he had done so well because he can punch so well, but we’re talking about a guy that worked at the tire shop at Walmart, he made $100,000, his wife wanted to be a rapper, he got beat by Fedor and the faded into the background. So how are you going to tell me that leads you to believe that at that point in time he could compete with guys like Cain Velasquez, Junior dos Santos, and you can’t say (Fabricio) Werdum because Werdum beat him when they fought very recently after that?”
How Fedor Emelianenko would’ve done in the UFC will never be known. Nevertheless, his legacy is set and he will now fight Tim Johnson in the main event of Bellator 268 on Saturday in Moscow.
Do you think Fedor Emelianenko would’ve done well in the UFC?