UFC >>> Pride.
At least, that's the standard Tito Ortiz uses when judging the career of fellow fighters, even men who are considered the best of the best.
Men like Fedor Emelianenko.
"The Last Emperor," who was recently knocked out for the first time by Dan Henderson at a Strikeforce event just outside of Chicago, may be on his way out of the fight game after a long and illustrious career.
His track record consists of a near decade long run of dominance through promotions like Rings and Pride. In his first 33 professional fights, Fedor had just one loss, and even that loss wasn't considered one.
You would think this is enough to consider him one of the best of all time. Nope.
Not in the mind of Ortiz, who writes in his blog at ESPN that Emelianenko doesn't deserve top dog status because he never fought for the UFC.
"He's not one of the greatest ever; he did great in Pride but he chose not to come to the UFC and he never fought in the UFC. You can't be considered one of the best -- much less the greatest ever -- if you didn't fight in the UFC. Pride isn't the UFC and the places he's been since Pride aren't the UFC. Everyone who came from Pride to the UFC got stomped."
Big words from the "Bad Boy" from Huntington Beach.
Maybe they have some merit, though, when one examines Fedor's record as of late. When his competition shot up considerably in bouts against Fabricio Werdum, Antonio Silva and Dan Henderson, he was finished in all three.
Then again, what other fighter can say he went undefeated for almost a decade and bested legends like Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Mirko "Cro Cop" in their respective primes?
Perhaps no other fighter in the history of MMA causes such reaction as the great Fedor.
What's your take, Maniacs? Do you agree with Ortiz that the Russian cannot be considered one of the best ever simply because he never fought inside the Octagon? Or do you think that's poppycock and he's the standard bearer for heavyweights?