Look up. Now, how that headline just made you feel is probably dependent on the length of your mixed martial arts fandom. Unfortunately, for those that joined the party within the last five years, it likely doesn't mean much. Just an overrated Strikeforce guy who's done crushing cans overseas and deciding to call it quits.
And that's a shame, because for me, writing that headline probably was harder than it should've been. I'll save the dramatics for when the time comes, but I have to admit, the spectacle of Pride FC and the legend of Fedor Emelianenko was one of the early catalysts that endeared me to this sport. I'm sure I'm not alone, either. Through the tinted lenses of nostalgia, it's impossible to articulate how special that time was to someone who didn't live and breathe it.
But now the mythical figure is gone, replaced by a 35-year-old shell whose delinquent management relegated him to near-irrelevance. Each time he fights the Satoshi Ishiis and Pedro Rizzos of the world, it gets a little tougher to remember the wars with Big Nog or the hysteria against Cro Cop. And perhaps Fedor knows that.
"I think it's time to call it a day," he repeated at a press conference this week in Russia (translation via Rianovosti). "This fight may be my last one."
If it is, maybe we'll see one last flash of the greatness that left us dumbstruck so many times before. But even if we don't, it was a privilege to watch that man dominate at the highest level for nearly a decade.
5 MUST-READ STORIES
Fedor Emelianenko may retire. Legendary former Pride champion Fedor Emelianenko openly speculated about his intentions to retire after fighting Pedro Rizzo during a press conference in Moscow.
Cesar Gracie, Braulio Estima still want Diaz match. In a joint interview on the "Inside BJJ" podcast, both Braulio Estima and Cesar Gracie gave their respective viewpoints on the controversial weekend, while opening the door to another match with Nick Diaz.
Stefan Struve UFC 146 blog. UFC heavyweight Stefan "Skyscraper" Struve talked about the various challenges of being the tall kid and growing up a fan of his upcoming opponent, Mark Hunt, in his inaugural UFC 146 fight blog.
Urijah Faber to learn new opponent on TUF. UFC President Dana White will announce Urijah Faber's new opponent on Friday's episode of The Ultimate Fighter: Live. Faber is set to fight for the interim bantamweight strap at UFC 148.
UFC on Fuel 3 ratings. Ratings for UFC on FUEL 3 tumbled to a record-low 173,000 viewers on Tuesday night. By comparison, UFC on FUEL 1 averaged 217,000 viewers and UFC on FUEL 2 averaged 197,000.
The Fujita punch. The Randleman slam. The Sylvia destruction. If Fedor gave us just one thing, it was violence in it's most spectacular form.
Renato Laranja, in case you don't know, is a fictional character of the Eddie Bravo gang. He's basically a long-running gag credited with being a legendary 27-time Mundial champion. (Fun-fact: There's only been 16 Mundials.) So anyway, the backstory to this encounter a little hazy, but it seems like Laranja was supposed to play a joke on Nate Diaz. Though, you should know, Diaz isn't really a big fan of jokes. (HT: Reddit)
So Genki Sudo just released a new music video, and it's either not at all what you expected, or completely what you expected. There's really no middle ground here. (HT: MiddleEasy)
Apparently the folks over at AKA felt like Josh Thomson needed to learn a lesson, so D.C. got the boys together to punk "The Punk." Like any good prank, it ended with a phone call to the cops.
#UFC just offered me to fight BJ Penn...I said YES!!!!! Just waiting on him!!!!!! Let's scrap bra?— Josh Koscheck (@JoshKoscheck) May 17, 2012
JUST A MINOR INCONVENIENCE
About to go get a few staples to the dome. Another day at the office #tuflive instagr.am/p/Ks13iRs4rN/— Urijah Faber (@UrijahFaber) May 16, 2012
Its a scary world. Just lost the first person i was in rehab with— chris leben (@cripplerufc) May 17, 2012
FORREST GRIFFIN: THE ULTIMATE HYPE MAN
Chael's book is used as legal currency in the European Union. It may willbe the only thing that can save Greece— Forrest Griffin (@ForrestGriffin) May 15, 2012
Rumor has it that Good Will Hunting was based on the life of Chaels book— Forrest Griffin (@ForrestGriffin) May 16, 2012
Chaels book once slept with a women just because she had silk sheets! He's not proud of it, so don't tell anyone— Forrest Griffin (@ForrestGriffin) May 16, 2012
Chaels book was ghost written by actual ghosts— Forrest Griffin (@ForrestGriffin) May 16, 2012
My wife left me for Chaels book. I don't blame her— Forrest Griffin (@ForrestGriffin) May 16, 2012
Announced yesterday (Wednesday, May 16, 2012):
- UFC on FUEL 4: Rafael Natal (14-3-1) vs. Andrew Craig (7-0)
- UFC on FUEL 4: Nick Penner (11-2) vs. Tom DeBlass (7-1), according to The Score
FANPOST OF THE DAY
Today's Fanpost of the Day sees unambig take us back to school: Poirier vs Jung: Unambig report cards
Amir Sadollah (D) vs Jorge Lopez (B)
I think we've already been over this. The judges are horrible and need to be fired. And I say that as a guy who picked Amir. Speaking of which, this is a guy who's never, ever lived up to his TUF run where he was subbing guys left, right, and centre. He's boring, predictable, and has a huge weakness in the 170 division with getting taken down. He has no future whatsoever at that weight class and 155 is even more stacked. His only option may be to quit (fat chance) or to move up to the weight he actually won TUF.
Chan Sung Jung (A+) vs Dustin Poirier (C+)
Although I reiterate I'm stunned out of my mind, I did say in my predictions that Dustin hasn't really fought any genuine world beaters yet. Jung showed what he looks like against the elite. That was shocking. What a beatdown. That might be beatdown of the year. Props to Dustin for surviving that long, and the only reason he gets a C+.
Found something perfect for the Morning Report? Just hit me on Twitter @shaunalshatti and we'll include it in tomorrow's post.