Anything can happen on any given night in Mixed Martial Arts. Fabricio Werdum (14-4-1) proved that Saturday night when he submitted the mythical Fedor Emelianenko (32-2) at 1:08 into the first round at the HP Pavillion Saturday night, in what may have been the biggest MMA upset of all time.
It was the first true loss of the Russian’s career and snapped a 28 fight win streak that dated all the way back to the year 2000 for Emelianenko.
Werdum survived some early trouble after being dropped to the mat in the fight’s first striking exchange with an uppercut. Emelianenko, perhaps smelling blood, jumped into Werdum’s guard and looked to ground and pound his way to victory, Werdum, however had other ideas.
The Brazilian recovered quickly and allowed Emelianenko to make the mistake of giving him an arm. Werdum slapped on a tight triangle choke/armbar combination and gave the crowd of 12,968 a Kodak Moment that no one had ever seen before, the sight of Emelianenko tapping out.
Werdum was gracious in victory, and although he is now clearly next in line for a fight with Allistar Overeem for the Strikeforce Heavyweight title he said he would like a rematch with Fedor.
“I feel so happy. … Fedor is the best in the world. Tonight I beat Fedor, but Fedor is the best,” an elated Werdum said in his post fight interview.
The loss was the first legitimate one of Emelianenko’s career. The other came after an illegal elbow cut him open in a 2000 RINGS fight. The bout should’ve been ruled a no contest, but tournament rules awarded his opponent a victory.
The Russian was his usual stoic self in the post fight interviews.
“”The one who doesn’t fall, doesn’t stand up,” Emelianenko offered cryptically after the fight. “I was made into a kind of an idol,I’m a normal human being as all of us, and if it is God’s will, the next fight I will win.”
Werdum has a 2006 submission victory over Overeem on his resume if he gets a title shot, otherwise he’ll be in the cage again against Emelianenko and more than likely he’ll be playing the role of underdog again.