Emelianenko disappointed in Silva

Emelianenko and Silva are considered two of the greatest ever MMA fighters, but Silva's legacy has been called into question after he failed multiple drug tests in January.

Silva first tested positive for steroids in an out-of-competition test on January 9, and again returned positive results before and after his fight with Nick Diaz at UFC 183.

The news of Silva's failed tests came as a shock to the MMA community, and Emelianenko believes that Silva has let the sport down.

"It's extremely upsetting that an athlete of that level actually turned to an aid from drugs to enhance his performance. It's a slap in the face overall. A slap in the face to the sport and all the fighters in the sport," Emelianenko told Fansided.

"I also feel that an athlete should depend on their skill set, experience and hard work they put in and not have to look to shorten that distance between hard training and the win by using or depending on steroids or any performance enhancing drug.

"Most importantly you have to stay true to yourself as well as those fans who made you who you are as an athlete. And now due to the use of steroids, he has this trademark, I feel, as someone who uses performance-enhancing drugs to win."

The Russian spent much of his career fighting in the PRIDE Fighting Championships, and some have questioned his record in recent times with suggestions that drug testing was not prevalent in the franchise. Emelianenko rejects both assertions.

"Actually we did get tested for steroids but everyone just assumed that because no one tested positive that there were no steroids," he explained.

"Of course the thought has crossed my mind, and assumptions were made, but it gave me strength to know that my opponent may have had to use something while I put in all of the hard work and long training trying to be a better fighter which is why, with God's help, I was able to win whether my opponent was on steroids or not."