• Strikeforce

Emelianenko fired from Strikeforce

ESPN staff
August 4, 2011

Former heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko has been cut from Strikeforce, UFC president Dana White has confirmed.

The 34-year-old suffered a controversial loss to Dan Henderson on Saturday, his third successive defeat in a poor recent run. Lesser fighters are often fired from their organisation after going on such a losing streak, but many believed Emelianenko's reputation and past record would grant him more time and more fights to prove his powers were not on the wane.

Unfortunately for the Russian, that has not proven to be the case - with White showing no sentiment after his contract expired.

"He's being cut, yeah," White said at the press conference for UFC 133. "Why? Do you think we should keep him?"

Having gone almost a decade without losing, Emelianenko was once widely regarded as the best heavyweight in the world, even as he plyed his trade away from the UFC. White, however, reiterated the fact that he never believed 'The Last Emperor' to be as good as many were keen to suggest.

"You guys thought he was the pound-for-pound best in the world, but I thought he was overrated for years," he added.

White has made little attempt to hide his contempt for Emelianenko's reputation, smirking openly when he was beaten by TKO by Henderson and taking to Twitter to pass comment. "Michael Jordan of MMA!? Dumbest thing ever said!!! So stupid," he tweeted.

Emelianenko disputed his loss to Henderson, however, after he the fight was stopped when he was decked face-first into the mat. "I don't want to say anything bad about the referee or anything, but it seems to me it was early," he said. "I was clearly hit, but I wasn't hit flush and directly.

"I think I could have continued, but the referee decided to stop it."

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