Before I start the article, let me just say that UFC for the most part has the best fights and best talent pool in the world right now. However, there's still room for improvement.
Back in the days when PRIDE and UFC co-existed, people could only dream of the possible super fights available. UFC had and still has high-quality fights and fighters, with names like Chuck Liddell, Randy Couture, Tito Ortiz, Ken Shamrock, Anderson Silva, Georges St. Pierre...the list could go on. PRIDE had their share of super-stars, ranging from Mirko Cro cop, The Nogueiras, Wanderlei Silva, and of course Fedor. And the UFC delivered on many of these super-fight matchups...a few years, too late in my opinion.
Don't get me wrong. Wanderlei Silva vs. Liddell was epic, but it would have been so much better had both fighters been at the high point of their careers. And then there was Chuck Liddell vs Mauricio Shogun Rua. Had Shogun knocked chuck out like that in 2006, fans would have rioted and gone wild. However, fast forward to 2009, and people simply shrug at the result. Now the UFC have decided to give us Couture vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 102. Once again, had this happened before Couture had that whole legal lawsuit going on and definitely before Couture was TKO'd by Lesnar, this matchup would have been epic. Hell, it would have pretty much been PRIDE vs. UFC had it happened several years ago. But now, I can only say that the fight has lost most of its luster, and I'm almost not looking forward to it. Well, that's a lie, as it's an awesome matchup, but not quite as awesome as it could have been. Let's not even get into the whole Fedor vs. Couture thing, as that fight would have probably broken sales records a few years ago.
The problem is, there's such a short opportunity for these super fights. The window is small, and the stars need to align perfectly in this small time frame for these fights to come through. A single loss on any fighter's part seems to significantly hurt their stock, thus making super fights, well, not-so-super.
This brings us to Fedor Emelianenko. He's a living legend, and this is because the guy has never really lost, save for one due to an accidental cut. The window has been open for a long, long time, as this guy has been winning against every opponent thrown at him. However, the Russian management and the American management are at odds like it's the cold war all over again. Truthfully, the UFC doesn't really need Fedor, and Fedor is doing just fine not going into the UFC. But the fans lose out big time on this one. And Fedor is, believe it or not, just human, and he will lose at some point. The question is can UFC acquire Fedor before he takes his first official loss? Or will the UFC brass once again deliver too little, too late and finally get Fedor to fight in the octagon when he's 60 and finally taken his first loss? Will Fedor even be relevant by the time UFC can sign Fedor? If the UFC ever needed to pull through on a super fight, this is without a doubt the ONE.