The day many MMA fans have been waiting for has finally happened: Fedor Emelianenko lost a fight.
Emelianenko, the Russian fighter on a 27-bout win streak, tapped out early in the first round to Fabricio Werdum via triangle choke in the Strikeforce main event Saturday night.
The crowd at the HP Pavilion in San Jose seemed stunned as "The Last Emperor" earned his first true loss in MMA. Emelianenko (31-2; his first loss was via injury stoppage) moved in early and landed a good strike to Werdum.
Werdum, a former UFC fighter, absorbed the shot and fell to his back, partly stunned from the shot and partly trying to draw in Emelianenko to work his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Werdum worked for and rather easily locked in a triangle choke and arm bar, causing Emelianenko to tap out 1:09 in the main event.
"I was concentrating on the strike and that's why I made the mistake," Emelianenko said.
Werdum will now fight Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem for the title at a later date. Surely, Strikeforce will lose out on big-time marketing and promotional dollars since Werdum, albeit a very talented fighter, doesn't yet carry the resume of Fedor.
Although extremely confident in his abilities leading up to the fight, Werdum was very deferential to Fedor in his post-fight interview. He said he'd even fight Fedor again, maybe even in Russia.
Still, Werdum (14-4) must revel in his newfound MMA glory as the man who stopped Fedor. Surely the Internets and MMA blogs will be sounding off about it.
Emelianenko has one more fight in his co-promotion debut between Strikeforce and M-1 Global. Who it will be against, who knows? How the contract negotiations will play out afterwards, again, who knows? Will he ever join the UFC? Will the UFC even want him now?
These are all questions that won't be answered tonight or tomorrow or anytime soon. But, wherever he is, you can bet UFC president Dana White is smiling.