Back in 2009, Fedor Emelianenko had still had an aura of invincibility about him. He was 30-1-1 and had just come off a 36-second win over former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia at Affliction: Banned. Sylvia was a man who towered above him and had a huge weight advantage. This was nothing new for Fedor, the giant killer. He could beat anyone in the world. He was the greatest. He was the "Last Emperor".
But former UFC champion, Andrei Arlovski, almost had his number. Almost.
Fedor was known as a warrior who could (and would) come back against all odds. In Pride, he was dumped on his head by Kevin Randleman (another UFC heavyweight champ), only to bounce up and finish the wrestler with a kimura immediately after. But Arlovski's speed was getting to Fedor, and he was landing with ease. Would this be the end of Fedor's reign?
No. Arlovski threw a flying knee (something he never did) and was met in mid-air by the strongest fist in Russia.
Let the dulcet sounds of Jimmy Eat World accompany you in your viewing of one of the best knockouts ever:
It's possible that this incredible feat could only be comprehended by watching in slow motion. I believe it's far more impressive when watching in real time. How could Fedor do this? How could he somehow drop jaws again?
Arlovski was devastated after the fight, and when he returned home, he was so despondent he put a gun to his head and "played" Russian Roulette. This loss haunted him. Beating Fedor was climbing the ultimate pinnacle, and Arlovski almost reached the summit, but like so many others, he ended up on the mat, wondering just what the hell happened.
The fight went on to become legend in the MMA world. One of the toughest fighters in the world — a former UFC heavyweight champion — would be picked out of the air by the greatest.
And then came the memes
And the constant replays...
And the dedications with questionable soundtracks....
Not only is it Fedor's greatest knockout, it's possibly one of the greatest knockouts of all time across all combat sports. It's an unforgettable moment in sports and MMA history.
It cemented the legend of Fedor Emelianenko.