Fedor Emilanenko lost to Antonio Silva at Strikeforce this weekend. Sure, it was a loss for Fedor personally, and a loss for the fighting organization that had invested so much in him, but more than that, it was the end of an era; according to Jonathan Snowden of SB Nation's blog the Bloody Elbow.
Fedor Emelianenko was the last hope of a generation of fighters who gave us the Pride Grand Prix and invented The Ultimate Fighter. The path to his resurgence was even grounded in the past - a tournament, just like the early days of the sport. But you can't fool father time. Antonio Silva slammed the door shut on a whole generation last weekend. The sport has evolved and there are new heroes to salute. Cain Velasquez, Edgar, and Georges St. Pierre are leading a new breed of fighters into the future. It's a glorious time, an era where everyone is well rounded, not just an immortal few.
The fighters are more skilled, more fit, better prepared. The future is now. Existing in our imagination, its potential limitless. But as this generation leads our sport to new markets and new opportunities, they'll be walking on a path carved out in the blood and sweat of men like Fedor Emelianenko. Fedor belongs now to the past, but he'll have an honored place in our memory, alongside his former opponents, training partners, and friends. His generation has done their work, done the sport proud. It's time now to rest as the new breed of fighter takes the sport to the mainstream and beyond.