Heavyweight legend Fedor “The Last Emperor” Emelianenko (37-5-0, 1 nc) returned to action last weekend, picking up a quick fire TKO victory over former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir at Bellator 198.
During his time fighting in Japan under the PRIDE banner, “The Last Emperor” built a record of 14-0-0 with 1 no contest, cementing himself in many fans eyes as the greatest heavyweight of all time. With wins over Mirko Cro Cop, Mark Hunt along with two wins a piece over Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira and Mark Coleman, Fedor’s record speaks for itself. That said, it is no secret that testing for performance enhancing drugs wasn’t much of a priority for the promotion during it’s glory years.
Speaking on the latest edition of his podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, Rogan shared that he has some suspicions about Fedor and his PRIDE legacy.
“They need to let him fight in Japan again. Get him on the right mixture,” Rogan joked. “I’m super suspicious about all those old fights now, though. I’m super suspicious. I mean steroids. I mean performance enhancing drugs. I mean we’re looking at a different human. That’s what I’m thinking.”
Few promotions have the standard of drug testing enforced by the UFC. While Bellator do carry out their own tests, they have been subject to criticism in the past for the disparity between their level of testing and the UFC’s USADA led program. Despite these criticisms, Rogan went on to explain the staggering difference between the testing standards in modern promotions and the attitude toward testing in PRIDE.
“[Bellator] does some checking; they do have state athletic commissions. Japan was encouraging,” Rogan said. “Who knows who was doing what and who wasn’t doing what, but when you talk to the guys who were over there, like Enson Inoue, and he’ll tell you they had it in capital letters in the contract — WE WILL NOT TEST YOU FOR STEROIDS.”
With that in mind, it stands to reason that even if Rogan’s suspicions around Fedor’s early record are valid, it would be a reasonable to assume that in most cases, the playing field was a level one.
“Whatever everybody was on back then, Fedor was still beating everybody’s ass,” Rogan said. “They were all on the same s–t; Fedor was still beating everybody’s ass.”
The full episode of the Joe Rogan Experience can be found below.