The Reasons Why FIGHT! Magazine Picked Those 5 To Beat Fedor

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zephead
7/25/07 6:35:54PM
Since BeerisGood didn't put down why FIGHT! magazine thought these people could beat Fedor, here it is, starting with the biggest threat: (Remember MMA is all about the matchups) The article is written by Sam Caplan

Josh Barnett

Fedor practically cleaned out PRIDE's entire heavyweight division, with one exception: Barnett. Why the two never faced each other isn't exactly clear.

They have both sain on record that they have mutual respect for onw another and that they prefer not to fight. However, this didn't prevent "The Babyface Assassin" from submitting Fedor's younger brother, Aleksander, last May.

Barnett was never given number one contender status at PRIDE, perhaps due to his 0-3 lifetime record against Cro Cop and 1-1 aganst Nogueira. While he didn't fare well against Cro Cop's elite striking ability, Barnett matches up very well against Fedor. While Barnett is a little bigger, they have similar body types.

"Barnett is the first person that comes to mind when it comes to who I think can beat Fedor," IFL commentator Bas Rutten said in an interview with FIGHT!. "He's very well rounded, and he's one of the fighters with the biggest heart that I've ever seen."

Rutten knows Barnett's wrestling ability with his strength and fortitude, and he could neutralize many of Fedor's strengths on the ground, giving Barnett a chance to eke out a decision victory.


Antonio Silva



Silva outweighs Fedor by nearly 70 lbs, so many critics will say a match bewteen the two wouldn't be fair, but with so few strong candidates out there, weight limitations can't be a factor.

Silva, who weighs over 300 lbs., is not only big, but is also quick and has tremendous mobility. When he debuted in 2005, he was considered nothing more than a circus show sideshow. However, he has earned a lot of respect within the MMA community because of how impressive he's been in his recent fights.

EliteXC play-by-play announcer Mauro Ranallo beleives that Silva has the tools needed to stand toe-to-toe with the biggest names in MMA. "For a guy his size, his athleticism and techniques make him a force to be reckoned with, no matter who you put in front of him".

IFL and Cage Rage color analyst Stephen Quadros concurred with Ranallo's assessment." If weight was nio object, Silva would definitely have the best chance of any fighter to upset the streak of Fedor," Quadros stated succinctly.

Like Ranallo, Quadros has seen Silva up close and personal, having watched Rafael Carino verbally submit to Silva at a Cage Rage event in England in July of 2005. Quadros not only respects Silva's raw skills, but beleives Silva matches up well with Fedor. "His size, strength, technique, and speed would definitely give the champion problems." proclaimed The Fight Professor. "It's almost not fair that a guy that big can move that fast."


Gabriel Gonzaga

If someone wrote an article about fighters who had a chance to beat Fedor five months ago, and Gonzaga was on the list, I would have torn the magazine to shreds. However, ny opinion changed greatly when he beat Cro Cop. In that win, Gonzaga went from prospect to title contender with just one kick.

But Bas Rutten was impressed by more than just the kick. "The way he handled Mirko on the ground, with his elbows; those were really cool elbows," Rutten commented. "those were tight elbows thrown while being in the guard."

In the weeks leading up to the fight between Cro Cop and GG, Couture predicted an upset, and went so far as to sat that he beleived Cro Cop was the better match-up for him than GG.

Couture is not alone in his assessment, as Quadros and Rutten beleive GG is capable of accomplishing big things. "I am extremely impressed with GG, and feel that not only will he take the UFC title from Couture, but will be a serious threat to the reign of Fedor." Quadros said.

"He's got the monkey strength" Rutten added. "He's just a very strong competitor, with good drive and motivation. I think he could give Fedor a lot of trouble."

MMA fans aren't exactly clamoring for a Fedor vs. GG showdown, but that could change if "Napao" puts up more wins over big names such as Cro Cop.

"GG's match with Couture may instigate people to want to see Emelianenko vs. Gonzaga," Quadros beleives. But as highly as Couture and Quadros think of GG, I think I might be the one driving the bandwagon. When you take a guy with his size and his black belt Jiu-Jitsu credentials, and add aggressive striking to the mix, then you have the total package. He's improving at a rapid pace and it's scary to think that the 8-1 Brazilian hasn't even scratched the surface of his potential.

Brock Lesnar

The former WWE and NCAA wrestling champion spent a year training for his debut match, which took place on June 1 on a co-promoted K-1/EliteXC card at the LA Coliseum.

Originally scheduled to face kickboxer Choi Hong-Man, Lesnar ended up fighting former Olympic Judo silver medalist Kim Min-Soo. Lesnar destroyed him in just over a minute, with Kim electing to tap due to repeated strikes delivered by Lesnar from the mount. The match went as well as it possibly could have for Lesnar, but left plenty of questions unanswered.

"Lesnar is one of the most physically gifted big men to ever grace the sport, and his wrestling is second to none," said Ranallo, who handled the play-by-play for Lesnar's debut. "However, we don't know how good his striking is or his submission defense."

Some critics may think it's too early to mention Lesnar in the same sentence as Fedor, but Lesnar is such an incredible athlete and such a strong technical wrestler that he has to be taken seriously. As he accumulates actual match experience and develops his standup game, more and more people will realize that at the very least, Lesnar has a chance to be the second best heavyweight in the world.

"It may be to soon to put him in against the indestructible number one heavyweight in the world," he said, But my gut instincts tell me that within a year, he could give emelianenko a strong test."

Rutten is also not completely sold - yet. "Can he stay away from the submissions? We don't know that," Rutten pointed out. "with Mark Coleman, he fought Fedor and got him to the ground and then got arm barred."

So Rutten beleives Lesnar could get Fedor off his feet?
"I think he can." responded Rutten. The thing is with Fedor, you've got to commit to your punches. Lesnar has got to make sure that his boxing is top notch. Not to slug it with Fedor, because you don't want that, but you've got to make the punches count, and once they defend the punches, that's your chance to go for the takedown."

After watching Lesnar break Min-Soo's guard with his barehands, and then watching Min-Soo be unable to execute a sweep based on Lenar's width, I think there would be a lot of people left in shock if he fought Fedor and the fight ended up on the ground with Lesnar in position.


Randy Couture

Couture has never backed down from anyone. However, he's a student of the game and knows who he matches up with. So how does he size up Fedor?

I believe Fedor is the best MMA fighter in the world right now," Couture told FIGHT!. "I would love to fight him," the two-time UFC light heavyweight and three-time UFC heavyweight chapion decreed.

How could Couture feel he could beat a man he essentially said was better than he was?

"I believe there are other heavyweights that have a shot against him, because that's the nature of our sport," Couture answered, "any given day, you can be the bug on the windshield."

Their styles are very similar; both are great wrestlers, have strong submissions and have knockout power with their hands. However, everything that Couture does, Fedor seemingly does better. So if that's true, why then is Couture on this list"

The answer is simple: the intangible factor.

Couture is at his best when he's the underdog. As a former alternate for the US Olympic team in Greco-Roman wrestling, Couture's will to win is even greater than that of his versatility as a mixed martial artist.

"Never count Randy out," Bas Rutten cautioned. "His motivation is so strong, his drive to compete is so strong. He's just an unbelievable competitor."
Twenty20Dollars
7/25/07 8:04:49PM
The question is which of this match-ups will we actually see take place?
Scott_Revels
7/25/07 9:27:06PM
At this point, only Couture, and Gonzaga seem likely. If Fedor is signed to the UFC, then there will never be a match with Barnett, because he doesn't like the UFC's rules, and the other two are just too heavy, and wouldn't drop to Fedor's weight.
Ultimate_fighter
7/25/07 9:36:19PM
I hope there is another Champion vs Champion (Couture vs Fedor) I believe Randy would win... he just has the right tools/skills to pull of the upset.
Twenty20Dollars
7/25/07 9:38:45PM
Barnett might sign with UFC again, but very doubtfull I think.
grappler0000
7/25/07 11:15:43PM

Posted by Scott_Revels

At this point, only Couture, and Gonzaga seem likely. If Fedor is signed to the UFC, then there will never be a match with Barnett, because he doesn't like the UFC's rules, and the other two are just too heavy, and wouldn't drop to Fedor's weight.



Silva may be too heavy, but Lesnar is not too heavy for HW.
ButterBalls
7/25/07 11:43:49PM
yeah I'm pretty sure Lesnar could make 265 without a problem.
kevietre
7/25/07 11:46:57PM
Lesnar could make the weight but we haven't seen his MMA skills. To say he could beat the #1 Heavyweight in the world is ridiculous after only having one fight.
loller90278
7/26/07 2:28:02AM
ill add pawel nastula to that list (i agree with richie, he prolly has the biggest chance) and maybe even tengiz tedoradze. he impressed me with his boxing skills against butterbean last CR and he has great takedowns/sambo. im a lil biased because we're country men tho.
Manfred
7/26/07 5:25:23AM
I think Barnett said recently that he will go where Fedor goes
jomatty
7/26/07 5:36:17AM
barnett has said that he will fight in the ufc and even that he would like to. i think he has the best chance but i still think he is a considerable dog.

i dont know how many fight couture has left on his contract but it would be fantastic if he could somehow get by gonzaga, and maybe one more and then his final fight was against fedor. if he loses that one then he still goes out in style and if he somehow could win, we would have a real life rocky story
LR
7/26/07 9:48:04AM
Wow, once again... the reasons aren't even good.

Josh Barnett
0-3 vs. CroCop. That says it all. Not only did Fedor beat CroCop, he beat him badly. CroCop had the first round to win against Fedor, and Fedor's defense was great, along with the fact that Fedor basically manhandled CroCop in the standup game in the 2nd and 3rd round. So if Barnett can't beat CroCop's striking ability, and BTW, CroCop GnP'd the hell out of Barnett a few times, how can he stop Fedor's GnP, submissions, and standup. He can't. Dumb reasoning to say because Barnett can pick apart his ground game, he can win. He can't even pick apart someone's straight punch to the face, hence why strikers like CroCop dominated him.

Silva
Have him fight Hunt or a pure striker, and then go from there. He has some huge weight to deal with, so it's a possibility, justified argument.

Gonzaga
Fedor's Sambo is world's ahead of anyone in MMA. I doubt Gonzaga will get close to submitted Fedor, and probably get caught in a submission himself while trying to submit Fedor. Fact is, Gonzaga got one kick. Fedor's standup is very heavy and pretty good. I don't think it'll get to the ground, and if it does, Fedor will most likely pull a 3 second back to side mount win.

Lesnar
I think Lesnar's physique would limit his punching ability. He'd be a slow puncher to Fedor, and going to the ground against Fedor is suicide when you don't know what you are doing yet. It'll be some proving before he gets to Fedor.

Couture
I still say he's too small for Fedor, and he won't be able to dominate him in the wrestling aspect of the fight like he has other opponents.
pharside
7/26/07 11:49:48AM
why isn't AA on this list? also how have he and Fedor not met at some point in a sambo match?
LR
7/26/07 12:05:46PM
Fedor mostly does Russian tournaments, but Russia usually wins the World Championships, I don't know if Fedor has participated in the World Championships recently. I've never read of AA doing them, but I don't know.
MartinKillMcGill
7/26/07 12:39:59PM
Never bet against randy. No doubt fedor is the Best hevyweight fighter in the world but never under estimate randy in the octagon. If it happens in the octagon id gve him a chance
fullerene
7/26/07 1:48:36PM
Nice opening post. I agree with those choices except Lesnar. He's already faced powerful, one-dimensional wrestlers with more experience in Coleman, Randleman and Ogawa...I think this fight would be very easy for Fedor.

And Silva is about the same size as Lesnar (295)....they are both pretty lean so it would mean losing some muscle more than likely (should be easy enough, just stop taking....never mind).

In place of Lesnar I'd put Shogun as a possibility. He has more active standup, amazing cardio and a decent ground game. Like everyone else he's giving up some things to Fedor, but he's also young enough to still be improving.
zephead
7/26/07 3:50:19PM

Posted by LR

Wow, once again... the reasons aren't even good.

Josh Barnett
0-3 vs. CroCop. That says it all. Not only did Fedor beat CroCop, he beat him badly. CroCop had the first round to win against Fedor, and Fedor's defense was great, along with the fact that Fedor basically manhandled CroCop in the standup game in the 2nd and 3rd round. So if Barnett can't beat CroCop's striking ability, and BTW, CroCop GnP'd the hell out of Barnett a few times, how can he stop Fedor's GnP, submissions, and standup. He can't. Dumb reasoning to say because Barnett can pick apart his ground game, he can win. He can't even pick apart someone's straight punch to the face, hence why strikers like CroCop dominated him.

Silva
Have him fight Hunt or a pure striker, and then go from there. He has some huge weight to deal with, so it's a possibility, justified argument.

Gonzaga
Fedor's Sambo is world's ahead of anyone in MMA. I doubt Gonzaga will get close to submitted Fedor, and probably get caught in a submission himself while trying to submit Fedor. Fact is, Gonzaga got one kick. Fedor's standup is very heavy and pretty good. I don't think it'll get to the ground, and if it does, Fedor will most likely pull a 3 second back to side mount win.

Lesnar
I think Lesnar's physique would limit his punching ability. He'd be a slow puncher to Fedor, and going to the ground against Fedor is suicide when you don't know what you are doing yet. It'll be some proving before he gets to Fedor.

Couture
I still say he's too small for Fedor, and he won't be able to dominate him in the wrestling aspect of the fight like he has other opponents.



It's about the matchups. Barnett matches up well with Fedor.
jomatty
7/26/07 3:52:08PM
the fact that barnett lost 3 times to cro cop and fedor beat cro cop does not mean that fedor will necessarily beat barnett. that sort of analysis just doesnt work in mma where so much is dependant on how individual styles match up. i know most everyone knows this so it is just directed at the poster who used that as evidence that a fedor vs. barnett fight is a foregone conclusion.

there is no doubt that fedor has a significant advantage over anyone including barnett, but i think it could be a competitive war and that josh has a realistic chance. if they fight it will most likely, imo go to a decision as both are exceptionally good at submission defence, and so agile and quick for big men. imo barnett is the type of fighter most likely to give fedor problems and if it is really his night and fedor is just a bit off he could pull a big upset in a decision. dont get me wrong i still think he is a significant underdog, at least 2-1, but i think he has the best chance at getting a decision win.

the fact that cro cop beat him means little in this case,
matt
zephead
7/26/07 3:56:45PM

Posted by jomatty

the fact that barnett lost 3 times to cro cop and fedor beat cro cop does not mean that fedor will necessarily beat barnett. that sort of analysis just doesnt work in mma where so much is dependant on how individual styles match up. i know most everyone knows this so it is just directed at the poster who used that as evidence that a fedor vs. barnett fight is a foregone conclusion.

there is no doubt that fedor has a significant advantage over anyone including barnett, but i think it could be a competitive war and that josh has a realistic chance. if they fight it will most likely, imo go to a decision as both are exceptionally good at submission defence, and so agile and quick for big men. imo barnett is the type of fighter most likely to give fedor problems and if it is really his night and fedor is just a bit off he could pull a big upset in a decision. dont get me wrong i still think he is a significant underdog, at least 2-1, but i think he has the best chance at getting a decision win.

the fact that cro cop beat him means little in this case,
matt



Chuck beat Tito both times. Both by TKO. Chuck beat Vitor. Vitor killed Wandy and Tito beat Wandy. Does that mean Chuck will beat Wandy? MMA Math does not work at all.

Josh has size. Strength. He's agile. Decent on his feet. Very good on the ground. Good chin. GReat at controlling you when he has you down. A fighter like that is what it'll take to beat Fedor.
LR
7/26/07 3:58:44PM
Actually, in the case of Fedor vs. Barnett, I think the 0-3 record says a lot about how Barnett would fair against a lot of fighters, particularly guys who can strike. Barnett got pounded by CroCop. Literally pounded into a situation where he got injured because of it. Fedor's standup is more aggressive than CroCop's standup. Granted, CroCop looks for counters as we've seen in a lot of his fights, spectacularly in the Wanderlei Silva fight. Fedor pushes it to CroCop in their fight, and that's how you fight CroCop. Fedor's striking ability is still a huge factor against Barnett. Anyone who can land like Fedor did on CroCop is considered a top striker. I will say that Barnett is actually probably the best bet on that list, now that I think about it. Barnett has only lost to CC, Big Nog, and Rizzo.

But the fact is, CroCop didn't beat him once, he beat him 3 times in significant pounding fashion. I'd look to see Fedor to try to pound him out in the 1st 5 minutes of the fight and avoid the ground game. I guess the CC fights vs. Barnett wouldn't define whether Fedor would win, but it definitely exposes a weakness that Barnett has had with quick heavy hitters.

zephead
7/26/07 4:06:42PM

Posted by LR

Actually, in the case of Fedor vs. Barnett, I think the 0-3 record says a lot about how Barnett would fair against a lot of fighters, particularly guys who can strike. Barnett got pounded by CroCop. Literally pounded into a situation where he got injured because of it. Fedor's standup is more aggressive than CroCop's standup. Granted, CroCop looks for counters as we've seen in a lot of his fights, spectacularly in the Wanderlei Silva fight. Fedor pushes it to CroCop in their fight, and that's how you fight CroCop. Fedor's striking ability is still a huge factor against Barnett. Anyone who can land like Fedor did on CroCop is considered a top striker. I will say that Barnett is actually probably the best bet on that list, now that I think about it. Barnett has only lost to CC, Big Nog, and Rizzo.

But the fact is, CroCop didn't beat him once, he beat him 3 times in significant pounding fashion. I'd look to see Fedor to try to pound him out in the 1st 5 minutes of the fight and avoid the ground game. I guess the CC fights vs. Barnett wouldn't define whether Fedor would win, but it definitely exposes a weakness that Barnett has had with quick heavy hitters.




The Rizzo fight, Barnett was 19. He is a completely different fighter now. He lost once to Cro Cop by a shoulder injury when he was on top of Cro Cop. He lost the other time after having a 15 minute war with Big Nog, while Cro Cop was completely rested after killing Wandy.

LR
7/26/07 4:13:51PM

Posted by zephead


Posted by LR

Actually, in the case of Fedor vs. Barnett, I think the 0-3 record says a lot about how Barnett would fair against a lot of fighters, particularly guys who can strike. Barnett got pounded by CroCop. Literally pounded into a situation where he got injured because of it. Fedor's standup is more aggressive than CroCop's standup. Granted, CroCop looks for counters as we've seen in a lot of his fights, spectacularly in the Wanderlei Silva fight. Fedor pushes it to CroCop in their fight, and that's how you fight CroCop. Fedor's striking ability is still a huge factor against Barnett. Anyone who can land like Fedor did on CroCop is considered a top striker. I will say that Barnett is actually probably the best bet on that list, now that I think about it. Barnett has only lost to CC, Big Nog, and Rizzo.

But the fact is, CroCop didn't beat him once, he beat him 3 times in significant pounding fashion. I'd look to see Fedor to try to pound him out in the 1st 5 minutes of the fight and avoid the ground game. I guess the CC fights vs. Barnett wouldn't define whether Fedor would win, but it definitely exposes a weakness that Barnett has had with quick heavy hitters.




The Rizzo fight, Barnett was 19. He is a completely different fighter now. He lost once to Cro Cop by a shoulder injury when he was on top of Cro Cop. He lost the other time after having a 15 minute war with Big Nog, while Cro Cop was completely rested after killing Wandy.




Yeah, the Rizzo fight was a long time ago, and I totally forgot the CC fight of the latter was in a GP, good points.
zephead
7/26/07 4:50:07PM

Posted by LR


Posted by zephead


Posted by LR

Actually, in the case of Fedor vs. Barnett, I think the 0-3 record says a lot about how Barnett would fair against a lot of fighters, particularly guys who can strike. Barnett got pounded by CroCop. Literally pounded into a situation where he got injured because of it. Fedor's standup is more aggressive than CroCop's standup. Granted, CroCop looks for counters as we've seen in a lot of his fights, spectacularly in the Wanderlei Silva fight. Fedor pushes it to CroCop in their fight, and that's how you fight CroCop. Fedor's striking ability is still a huge factor against Barnett. Anyone who can land like Fedor did on CroCop is considered a top striker. I will say that Barnett is actually probably the best bet on that list, now that I think about it. Barnett has only lost to CC, Big Nog, and Rizzo.

But the fact is, CroCop didn't beat him once, he beat him 3 times in significant pounding fashion. I'd look to see Fedor to try to pound him out in the 1st 5 minutes of the fight and avoid the ground game. I guess the CC fights vs. Barnett wouldn't define whether Fedor would win, but it definitely exposes a weakness that Barnett has had with quick heavy hitters.




The Rizzo fight, Barnett was 19. He is a completely different fighter now. He lost once to Cro Cop by a shoulder injury when he was on top of Cro Cop. He lost the other time after having a 15 minute war with Big Nog, while Cro Cop was completely rested after killing Wandy.




Yeah, the Rizzo fight was a long time ago, and I totally forgot the CC fight of the latter was in a GP, good points.



Believe me, I'm not saying that Barnett would beat Fedor. I just think Barnett matches up pretty good with with Fedor and is the type of fighter needed to beat him.
SpiderSilva
7/26/07 7:41:21PM
well this is the best way to put it at some point Fedor will lose
peachfuzzz1305
7/27/07 2:48:35AM
BROCK LESNAR WTF


wilwith1l
7/27/07 10:54:18AM
At some point Fedor will lose. In the next 2 years I doubt it. He will not lose twice to someone either. The only way he could lose is to get caught, but we've seen him get caught before. Fujita had him knocked out on his feet, and I think everyone agrees no human should have been able to withstand that throw that Randelman gave him.
GDK
7/27/07 5:03:15PM

Posted by wilwith1l

At some point Fedor will lose. In the next 2 years I doubt it. He will not lose twice to someone either. The only way he could lose is to get caught, but we've seen him get caught before. Fujita had him knocked out on his feet, and I think everyone agrees no human should have been able to withstand that throw that Randelman gave him.



Or a nasty keylock from a giant Kiwi
Only to beat him with a kimura a minute later

Fedor hasn't even been close to losing and he's beaten the best.
Fedor won't lose for quite some time
zephead
7/28/07 10:16:41AM

Posted by GDK


Posted by wilwith1l

At some point Fedor will lose. In the next 2 years I doubt it. He will not lose twice to someone either. The only way he could lose is to get caught, but we've seen him get caught before. Fujita had him knocked out on his feet, and I think everyone agrees no human should have been able to withstand that throw that Randelman gave him.



Or a nasty keylock from a giant Kiwi
Only to beat him with a kimura a minute later

Fedor hasn't even been close to losing and he's beaten the best.
Fedor won't lose for quite some time



I guess you didn't see the Fujita fight
LR
7/28/07 10:33:57AM
Mark Hunt and Fujita both caught Fedor, but he recovered.
zephead
7/28/07 11:01:51AM

Posted by LR

Mark Hunt and Fujita both caught Fedor, but he recovered.



Yes he did, the poster stated that Fedor hasn't come close to losing. He came very close to Fujuta
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