It's been the toughest year ever for Fedor Emelianenko, arguably the best heavyweight mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter of all time, losing back-to-back fights to Antonio Silva and Dan Henderson, as well as getting stopped by Fabricio Werdum to close out 2010.
"The Last Emperor" snapped the three-fight skid with a unanimous decision win over Jeff Monson just last month. And last night (Dec. 30, 2011), the former Pride FC juggernaut made it two in a row with a first round knockout finish of judo expert Satoshi Ishii in the DREAM: "Genki Desu Ka Omisoka" year-end MMA extravaganza in Japan.
Check it out:
Round one: Fedor stands still, but tries to land big combinations but Ishii has a high guard. Ishii shoots in looking ot take Fedor down but he gets fended off. Fedor throws some big combinations but Ishii is unfazed. A nice right hand connects for Emelianenko and Ishii is stumbled. Fedor presses forward and blasts Ishii with a huge right hand that drops Ishii and he's out cold. It's all over.
Ishii and Monson are certainly not top-ranked opponents; however, wins over them are certainly solid confidence boosters as Emelianenko enters perhaps the last year of his illustrious and legendary MMA career.
Is a move to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) finally in the cards for 2012 or will Emelianenko continue to insist on plying his trade outside the Octagon until his retires from the sport?