Anderson Silva or Fedor Emelianenko? That seems to be the doubt lingering on the minds of MMA fans and analysts alike as to who the best of all times is.
It could be Anderson. But UFC president Dana White, who hasn’t a doubt about it, will only have his confirmation in five fights. Or in early 2015, whichever comes first. At least that’s what say the numbers, colder than the sambo fighter’s gaze.
Anderson wasn’t yet a black belt but was already teaching Jiu-Jitsu in Curitiba, Brazil, when he was submitted twice at the Japanese Pride FC event, in 2003 and 2004, by the wily Daiju Takase and Ryo Chonan. He has a third loss, in 2000, on his MMA debut, to Luiz Azeredo.
The Spider of today is a different fighter. He’s at his peak. But Russian emperor Fedor Emelianenko’s zenith was, so far, higher.
Anderson is riding a 16-fight winning streak, not counting the disqualification “loss” to Yushin Okami in Hawaii. He has been lossless for a little over six years. If he maintains his invincibility for five fights, he will beat Fedor’s numbers.
Yes, up until tapping to Fabricio Werdum at Strikeforce, Fedor went from 2000 to 2010 without tasting defeat. He notched 20 wins – not counting the dozen victories obtained in the Rings promotion, which purists may argue did not follow the rules of present day MMA.
Fedor, like Anderson, ravaged a grip of former UFC champions. But the Russian has gone more fights (and time) undefeated.
To Dana White, Silva is the best the sport has ever known because he hasn’t lost since joining the UFC, in 2006. If you agree that MMA didn’t come into existence in that year, there are still five fights (or four years) to go to confirm it.