Brock Lesnar and Fedor Emelianenkoâ€”both labeled as monstersâ€”have both lost their respective fights this year.
Lesnar was thoroughly dominated by Cain Velasquez, and many fans of the sport were thoroughly shocked as Velasquez put on one of the best performances of his career.
Emelianenko looked like he had hurt Fabricio Werdum almost instantly, but fell victim to a triangle choke/armbar combination to a highly decorated Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt.
Now, whose loss impacted MMA more?
It has to be Fedor Emelianenko's loss to Werdum. No offense to Brock Lesnar, because his loss isn't without meaning, but Emelianenko's loss impacted the sport more.
Emelianenko went on a perfect run for 10 years, and displayed tremendous skills and athletic ability that is matched by very few fighters on the planet. In this time, Fedor showed he can strike with a K-1 kickboxer, he could not only nullify but make one of the best submission experts in Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira look like an amateur, he has tremendous hip flexibility and incredible speed when he armbarred Mark Coleman, and he displayed ridiculous composure and heart after being suplexed on his neck by Kevin Randleman (he would submit Randleman with a kimura just seconds later).
Many fighters over the years have stated the rare gem that is Fedor Emelianenko.
"Fedor is the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world." -Randy Couture
"Fedor is my favorite." -B.J. Penn
"He's the fastest I've ever seen. Much faster than Mirko, and he's got a great reaction. Technically he may not have such a big advantage, but physically he is the fastest heavy guy in MMA history. He tries a punch, misses it, then immediately shoots again, Cro Cop for example didn't even see them coming. He must practise that a lot, because it's not easy to improvise that kind of thing. He is really with a good combination of styles, he can go from one art to the other, that's what makes him different." -Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
While Brock Lesnar was the UFC heavyweight champion, and proclaimed "the baddest man on the planet", he's still very green in the sport. Lesnar's loss mainly impacts the mainstream fans that tuned in to see Lesnar as heavyweight champion, but still, any card you put Brock Lesnar on, there will be an enormous amount of fan interest.
The MMA community as a whole was a lot less devastated by Lesnar's loss than Fedor, because Lesnar plays the bad guy role, and hasn't come close to being recognized as a pound-for-pound elite fighter.
While some may argue that Fedor has had periods of being inactive, no one can argue with what he's accomplished in the sport and the well-rounded skills he's shown.
Lesnar is a tremendous athlete and it's astonishing how much he has accomplished, but his loss didn't impact MMA nearly as much, because he still has a long way to go as far as improving, but he hasn't had the legendary career Fedor has had.
If anyone is still skeptical of Fedor's loss being more important, just look at how many people are demanding an immediate rematch with Werdum, vs. how many people are demanding an immediate rematch between Lesnar and Velasquez. Fedor's loss was so shocking that the MMA community is still stunned and believe he could beat Werdum, nobody can really say the same for Lesnar right now.
By Andrew Gladstone