Plenty of people have thrown around lots of reasons for keeping Fedor out of the #1 spot on the pound for pound list and even dismissing Fedor as the best heavyweight fighter in the world. While some of the arguments still hold water (like his inactivity as compared to some of the other fighters), Fedor destroyed a lot of the doubts surrounding his status as a legend in the sport tonight with his lightning-fast ass whupping of Tim Sylvia.
PRIDE was crooked
As time has gone on, PRIDE’s reputation has gotten worse and worse. Fighters have come forward with shady stories implying that results were not always determined entirely in the ring. There have been at least a few worked fights, steroids were not just around but actually encouraged, and favored fighters never really had to worry about a judges’ decision going the wrong way. All this shit added up, to the point where being a dominant fighter in pride almost comes with an asterisks nowadays. But tonight Fedor proved that he wasn’t a manufactured product and that he succeeded on his own merits and not because of any shifty stuff going on behind the curtains at PRIDE. Myth dispelled.
It was his opposition
This goes along with the questions about PRIDE. With several PRIDE fighters getting iced outside of the organization, it’s natural to question if the top guys Fedor faced in PRIDE were really top guys to begin with. Add in a decent number of strange bookings against guys like Hong Man Choi, Zuluzinho, a smaller Matt Lindland, etc, and you had a lot of people wondering if Fedor built his reputation against scrubs and guys who weren’t really as good as we all thought they were. Tonight Fedor routed a guy that you can’t deny is (well, he WAS) one of the top heavyweight fighters in the world. Myth dispelled.
He can’t finish the best
Mirko Crocop, Big Nog, Semmy Schilt, Ricardo Arona. Fedor went to decisions against all these guys (x2 with Big Nog). Sure, you have to squint pretty hard to ignore the mountain of guys Fedor has submitted, but the argument was out there that every time Fedor faced cream of the crop competition, he couldn’t finish the fight. Again, tonight Fedor proved that he’s got the skills to take out guys at the top level. Myth dispelled.