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Joe Rogan ‘super suspicious’ of Fedor’s PRIDE wins during steroids era

Pride Grand Prix 2005 - Final Round - Match - August 28, 2005 Photo by Tomokazu Tazawa/Getty Images

Is Fedor Emelianenko the greatest heavyweight of all time?

Well, I suppose that depends on your criteria for greatness. From 2001-2009, “The Last Emperor” captured 27 straight wins, won the PRIDE Fighting Championship heavyweight title, and racked up a ridiculous 21 finishes.

Some of the champions representing Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) at that time, including Tim Sylvia, Andrei Arlovski, and Frank Mir, would eventually move on to face Emelianenko — only to get destroyed within one round.

The Russian juggernaut eventually got older and failed to evolve with the sport, leading to some less-than-impressive performances in his later years (like this one), but UFC color commentator Joe Rogan believe there was another variable at play.

Stateside drug testing.

“I’m super suspicious about all those old fights now,” Rogan said on his official podcast. “I mean steroids, performance enhancing drugs, we’re looking at a different human, that’s what I’m thinking. Whatever everybody was on back then, they were all on the same shit, Fedor was still beating everybody’s ass.”

So if everyone else was doing steroids, then it was, by Rogan’s logic, a level playing field.

Mixed martial arts (MMA) veteran Enson Inoue went public back in 2014, exposing the loophole in PRIDE contracts (see it) that allowed fighters to take steroids. While Emelianenko has never failed a drug test, some of his cohorts from the glory days of Japan were not so fortunate.

Like this guy.

Suspicious or not, Emelianenko (37-5, 1 NC) is back on top, thanks to his first-round finish over Mir (video) at the Bellator MMA event last weekend in Chicago. “The Last Emperor” moves on to fight Chael Sonnen — no stranger to drug testing — along with his sidekick, Snow White.

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