Fedor and Anderson Silva are both still jockeying for #1 position on most people’s pound for pound list. Ironically enough, it’s Anderson who’s now having a hard time keeping up with Fedor due to the quality of his opponents: James Irvin and Patrick Cote have nothing on Tim Sylvia and Andrei Arlovski. With Anderson vs Thales Leites on deck for UFC Montreal, I’m ready to give Fedor the #1 slot just to punish Zuffa for it’s chickenshit matchmaking.
One of the downsides of being so damn awesome is that when your performance isn’t a complete one-sided drubbing, people start criticizing you. We saw that with Anderson and Patrick Cote, and now we’re hearing it with Fedor. I’m willing to admit that Arlovski had me believing for a second when he kicked Fedor back into the corner, but it was no different than how I felt every time Gilbert Yvel managed to bumrush Josh Barnett. I can’t let my emotions during the fight cloud the reality that Fedor still knocked him out cold in just over 3 minutes.
Still, it’s not just us crazy fans who are piling on Fedor for not blowing Arlovski’s head off Scanners-style in 10 seconds:
If criticism can be levied against a performance ending with a knockout that will be mentioned among the best of 2009, Emelianenko’s longtime trainer, Vladimir Voronov, seemed happy to do so. Several whiskeys into celebrating his fighter’s first defense of the World Alliance of Mixed Martial Arts heavyweight belt, the 43-year-old trainer stood just outside his camp’s jubilant dressing room and spoke as if Emelianenko had stolen something.
“He’s obviously got unbelievable potential, but he had some distractions getting ready for this fight,” Voronov said through an interpreter. “The movie. The commercials. If Fedor wants to keep winning, and winning well, he needs to train professionally. Right now he won with his old tricks.”
“The fact that Fedor won, don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy about. But he won this fight because of the training before this fight. The experience he had before this fight. The trainers did everything we could to get him ready. But for title fights, we can’t train the way we trained for this one.”
So there you have it: the burden of being awesome is having to live up to everyone’s impossibly high expectations. That’s why I choose to suck hard … that way, whenever I do something half decent, everyone acts like I just figured out how to solve world hunger (hint: use a similar amount of money as Affliction did to pay for it’s card).