Former two-division UFC champion and current UFC commentator, Daniel Cormier, doesn't believe MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko would've fared well in the Octagon.
Cormier was speaking on the latest edition of his show Debate DC where he debates fans on MMA topics and was asked how he thought Emelianenko would've done in the UFC's heavyweight division if he were to have signed with the promotion in the late 2000s. He responded with the following, saying he thinks the Russian heavyweight great would've only been average at best if he made the transition to the UFC at that time.
“We’re talking a window of 2009-11,” Cormier said (h/t MMA Fighting). “(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. 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.”
He continued on to try to strengthen his case against Emelianenko by debating the quality of his run in Strikeforce that spanned from November 2009 to July 2011. Fedor makes his return to the cage this weekend when he takes on Timothy Johnson in the main event of Bellator 269 from the VTB Arena in Moscow, Russia.
“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 said. “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 then 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? The only way he gets a (UFC) belt is if he walks right into a title fight against Lesnar.”