Nogueira was coming off wins against Mark Coleman, Heath Herring and an upset comeback victory against Bob Sapp, as well as victory in the RINGS 2000 King of Kings Tournament, in which Emelianenko had participated.
Emelianenko rocked him early with punches and Nogueira pulled guard.
Emelianenko survived Nogueira's guard, considered the most dangerous in MMA and easily defended all of Nogueira's submission attempts, dominating him for 20 minutes with a brutal ground and pound.
Emelianenko took down Goodridge after wobbling him with standing combinations, then finished him with ground and pound in the first round by referee stoppage.
Emelianenko broke his hand in this fight, resulting in surgery. He doesn't owe anything else to the sport." His next fight against New Japan professional wrestler Yuji Nagata at Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye 2003 ended the same way, with Emelianenko first knocking Nagata to the ground twice with punches.
Former combat sports fighters Chuck Norris and Mike Tyson; current MMA fighters such as Junior dos Santos, Fabrício Werdum, and Jose Aldo; and other publications have called Emelianenko the greatest mixed martial artist of all time.
MMA referee John Mc Carthy, sports commentator Michael Schiavello and others, have compared Emelianenko's impact and legacy in MMA to the likes of Muhammad Ali, Pele, Wayne Gretzky, and their legacies in their respective sports.
and, then reigning Strikeforce Light Heavyweight champion, Dan Henderson, followed by three consecutive wins against former ADCC champion Jeff Monson, former Olympic medalist Satoshi Ishii and former UFC Heavyweight contender Pedro Rizzo.
Emelianenko retired from fighting after the Rizzo fight, On 14 July 2015, after a three year hiatus from mixed martial arts, Emelianenko announced that he will be returning to active competition and has started training immediately.
His next opponent was heavyweight Heath Herring, in a contest to establish the number-one heavyweight contender.
Emelianenko was then signed to fight heavily favored Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira for Pride's Heavyweight Championship title at Pride 25 on 16 March 2003.
Footage shows that the cut was caused by a missed looping punch where Kohsaka's elbow struck Emelianenko's head.