Fedor Emelianenko got back to winning ways tonight as he defeated Jeff Monson by unanimous decision in a lackluster fight at an M-1 Global event in Russia.
Truth be told this was a strange fight to watch. Monson offered absolutely nothing as an offensive force other than a series of slow, half-hearted takedown attempts which Emelianenko shrugged off with ease. Beyond that I’m not sure he landed a single punch.
Meanwhile the Russian himself was more patient and less reckless with his stand-up than we’re used to seeing, which isn’t neccessarily a bad thing, but when faced with with was in essence a big, heavily tattooed punchbag it was disappointing that he showed very little of the killer instinct that made him a superstar.
To be fair Fedor did drop Monson on multiple occasions in the first and second round, finding particular success with the straight right down the pipe, but It was never clear whether Monson was genuinely hurt by all of these punches, or if he was just playing posum in order to try to coax Fedor to go to ground with him.
Given the fact that after standing up from these knockdowns he never appear to be rocked or on shaky legs I’m inclined to go with the latter option – something akin to Fabricio Werdum’s tactics at times during his fight with Alistair Overeem in Strikeforce earlier this year.
If that was the plan then it failed as Fedor was having none of it and deliberately steered clear of attempting to finish by ground and pound, appearing content to just keep Monson on his feet where he had a major advantage.
By the third round the fight was rapidly descending into a farce as Monson continued to spend a disproportionate amount of time falling to the mat under the slightest pressure from Fedor, or following half-assed takedown attempts.
It was clear that Monson had no intention of trying to go all out for the win, while Fedor was still fighting overly cautiously and very much within himself, not pushing for a finish despite being presented with the perfect opportunity to do so with very little risk.
Instead he played it safe, stalking his opponent from range and throwing more leg kicks than anything else as the clock slowly wound down.
And so the fight came to an end and Fedor picked up the unanimous decision win, but this was not the kind of performance that’s likely to propel him back into the hearts and minds of fans worldwide.