Fedor Emelianenko vs Cro Cop, Pride Final Conflict 2005, 28 August 2005
Fedor Emelianenko vs Cro Cop, a legendary fight between two gods of the sport. This fight won the Sports Illustrated 2000s Fight of the Decade award, the Yahoo Sports 2000s Fight of the Decade award, the MMAFighting 2005 Fight of the Year award, and the Fightmatrix.com 2005 Most Noteworthy Match of the Year award.
In 2005, Fedor Emelianenko was the Pride Heavyweight Champion. He defeated Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in 2003 to claim the title. Fedor’s dominance of the Rings and Pride Heavyweight divisions paired with his cold and stoic expression earned him cage names such as the Machine, the Russian Experiment, the Last Emperor. MMA legends like Renato Sobral, Semmy Schilt, Heath Herring, Kevin Randleman, Mark Coleman, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, all fell to this Russian master. Most of them were defeated in the first round by TKO or submission.
Cro Cop made the transition to MMA after a successful career in K-1. He quickly made a name for himself by defeating Kazushi Sakuraba, Heath Herring, and Kazuyuki Fujita in his first few MMA fights. He also fought to a draw against Wanderlei Silva. Cro Cop made his opponents painfully aware of his kick boxing with head kick knockouts. His fans would come to endear him and the fight world would come to associate him with his deadly left kick. As Cro Cop once put it so eloquently, “right kick hospital, left kick cemetery.” Coming into this fight, Cro Cop was on a seven fight win streak.
Cro Cops rise in Pride and Fedor Emelinanko’s dominance in MMA was the perfect background for one of Pride’s most epic battles. Cro Cop’s run for the Pride Heavyweight Championship was well underway and the clash of the titans was inevitable. Fedor Emelianenko vs Cro Cop was the most highly anticipated fight of the year.
Watch the full fight here