Fedor Emilianenko

Fedor Emilianenko

Fedor Emelianenko
Фёдор Емельяненко
Caesars Palace's Roman Plaza on 19 October 2006
Born Fedor Vladimirovich Emelianenko
(1976-09-28) 28 September 1976 (age 37)
Rubizhne, Luhansk Oblast, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union
Other names The Last Emperor[1]
Residence Stary Oskol, Belgorod Oblast, Russia
Nationality Russian[2]
Height 5 ft 11 12 in (1.82 m)
Weight 105 kg (231 lb; 16 st 7 lb)
Division Heavyweight
Reach 74 in (188 cm)
Stance Orthodox
Fighting out of Stary Oskol, Belgorod, Russia
Team Red Devil Sport Club/Alexander Nevsky OEMK[3] (2003 – present)
Russian Top Team (2000–2003)
Trainer Judo, Sambo: Vladimir Voronov
Boxing: Alexander Michkov
Muay Thai: Peter Teijsse Kickboxing: Ernesto Hoost[4]
Rank 1st Razryad Grand Master in Sambo
Black belt and International Master of Sport in Judo
Years active 2000 – 2012 (MMA)
Mixed martial arts record
Total 40
Wins 35
By knockout 11
By submission 16
By decision 8
Losses 4
By knockout 3
By submission 1
No contests 1
Other information
Occupation Council of Physical Fitness & Sports (2012 – present)
Russian MMA Union (president; 2012 – present)
Belgorod Regional Duma (deputy; 2010 – present)
M-1 Global (co-owner; 2007 – present)
Russian Ground Forces (tank division; 1995 – 1997)
University Belgorod State University (department of physical education; g. 2008)
Spouse Marina (m. 2009)[5]
Oksana (m. 1999 – 2006)
Children Elizabeth (b. 2011)
Vasilisa (b. 2007)
Masha (b. 1999)
Notable relatives Alexander Emelianenko (brother)
Ivan Emelianenko (brother)
Notable students Kirill Sidelnikov
Maxim Grishin
Notable club(s) Champions for Peace (2011 – present)[6]
Website http://efedor.ru/index_eng.shtml
Sherdog
Fedor Emelianenko
Medal record
Competitor for  Russia
Men's Combat Sambo
World Championships
Bronze 2008 St. Petersburg +100 kg
Gold 2007 Prague +100 kg
Gold 2005 Prague +100 kg
Gold 2002 Panama City +100 kg
Gold 2002 Thessaloniki +100 kg
European Championships
Gold 1999 Istanbul +100 kg
Russian Championships
Gold 2012 Moscow +100 kg
Gold 2009 Kstovo +100 kg
Gold 2008 St. Petersburg +100 kg
Gold 2007 Ulan-Ude +100 kg
Gold 2005 Kstovo +100 kg
Gold 2002 Moscow +100 kg
Bronze 2000 Orenburg +100 kg
Bronze 1998 Kaliningrad +100 kg
Men's Judo
Russian Championships
Bronze 1999 Kstovo Open
Bronze 1998 Kstovo -100 kg

Fedor Vladimirovich Emelianenko (Russian: Фёдор Влади́мирович Емелья́ненко, tr. Fyodor Vladimirovich Yemelyanenko, IPA: [ˈfʲɵdər vlɐˈdʲimʲɪrəvʲɪtɕ jɪmʲɪlʲˈjanʲɪnkə])[7] (born 28 September 1976) is a Russian politician and retired heavyweight mixed martial artist, sambist, and judoka. He has won tournaments and accolades in multiple sports, most notably the Pride 2004 Grand Prix and the World Combat Sambo championship on four occasions, as well as medaling in the Russian national Judo championship.[8]

Emelianenko received acclaim from major publications, including Sports Illustrated,[9] USA Today,[10] and Sherdog.com.[11] Many analysts, fighters, and experts consider Emelianenko to be the greatest mixed martial artist of all time.[12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21] He remained undefeated for nearly a decade, during which time he was considered the best heavyweight fighter in mixed martial arts,[22] including notable wins over 5 former UFC champions and 5 former K-1 champions.

Biography

Emelianenko was born in 1976 in the city of Rubizhne, Luhansk Oblast, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union.[23] In 1978, when he was two, his family moved within the Soviet Union to Stary Oskol, Belgorod of the Russian SFSR.[1] His mother, Olga Fedorovna, was a teacher, and his father, Vladimir Alexandrovich, was a welder.[1] Emelianenko is the second child in the family and has an older sister and two younger brothers, including professional mixed martial artist Alexander Emelianenko. Fedor trains with his youngest brother Ivan, who has competed in Combat Sambo and plans to begin a career in MMA in 2010.[24]

Emelianenko finished high school in 1991 and graduated with honors from a professional trade school in 1994. From 1995–97, he served in the Russian Army as a military firefighter.[24] In 1999, he married Oksana and their daughter Masha was born in the same year.[23] They divorced in 2006.[5] On 29 December 2007, his second daughter, Vasilisa, was born to his long-time girlfriend Marina.[25][26] Emelianenko and Marina married in October 2009.[27] In his spare time, he likes to read, listen to music, and draw.[28] He is a practicing Orthodox Christian and a parishioner at the church of St. Nicholas in Stary Oskol.[29] His entrance theme song, oy, to ne vecher, was performed at his request by archdeacon Andrey Zheleznyakov, solist at the Episcopal Choir of the Nizhny Novgorod Diocese.[30]

Emelianenko was one of 80 Russian sporting champions, cultural icons and national heroes to carry the Olympic torch in St. Petersburg in 2008.[31]

Mixed martial arts career

Club affiliation

Emelianenko began his mixed martial arts as a member of Russian Top Team (RTT),[32][33] training with the first generation of Russian RINGS competitors, such as Volk Han and Andrey Kopylov. After his bout with Gary Goodridge, the Emelianenko brothers left Russian Top Team and began to train in St. Petersburg with Red Devil Sport Club, managed by Vadim Finkelstein.[33] To date, Finkelstein is still his manager. Emelianenko is a member of the VOS gym in the Netherlands, where he trains with Johan Vos and Lucien Carbin. Emelianenko has trained with the likes of Ernesto Hoost, Tyrone Spong, and Denis Lebedev.[34][35][36]

RINGS

Emelianenko made his MMA debut for the Japanese RINGS organization. RINGS had a different set of rules that did not allow head strikes on the ground (which later on was recognized as one of Emelianenko's biggest strengths).

Emelianenko suffered his first loss in the sport with RINGS. The defeat was controversial, by Tsuyoshi Kohsaka at the King of Kings 2000 Block B event on 22 December 2000, via doctor stoppage due to a cut 17 seconds into the fight.[37] Footage shows that the cut was caused by a missed looping punch where Kohsaka's elbow struck Emelianenko's head. Emelianenko said that this elbow reopened a cut sustained in his previous fight against Ricardo Arona.[38] Since the fight was in a tournament format, a winner and loser were required because draws and no-contests were not awarded. Since Emelianenko could not advance due to his injury, Kohsaka did. The tournament was eventually won by Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira, who later became Emelianenko's rival in Pride. Emelianenko avenged that loss when he beat Kohsaka at Pride Bushido 6.

After defeating veteran Renato Sobral in an elimination bout, Emelianenko fought for the World Heavyweight Class Championship against Bobby Hoffman the same night. However, Hoffman refused to fight Emelianenko, asserting he had sustained an injury to his shoulder during his previous match, and forfeited. Emelianenko was awarded the win by default and he was given the RINGS Heavyweight Class Championship.[39][40]

On 15 February 2002, Emelianenko defeated Chris Haseman and won the RINGS Absolute Class Tournament, the last tournament ever held by RINGS.

PRIDE Fighting championships

Entering the Pride Fighting Championships on the heels of winning the RINGS King of Kings 2002 tournament, Emelianenko debuted at Pride 21 on 23 June 2002 against the 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m), 256 lb (116 kg) Dutch fighter Semmy Schilt, whom he defeated by unanimous decision. His next opponent was heavyweight Heath Herring, in a contest to establish the number-one heavyweight contender.[41] Emelianenko, considered an underdog, dominated Herring with ground and pound, winning by doctor stoppage after the first round.[42]

Emelianenko was then signed to fight heavily favored Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira for Pride's Heavyweight Championship title at Pride 25 on 16 March 2003. 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. Nogueira was considered by many fans to be virtually unbeatable, due to his endurance and submission skills.[33] 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. The judges rendered a unanimous decision and Emelianenko became the second Pride Heavyweight Champion, a title he would never lose.[43]

Three months later Emelianenko embarked on his title defense. His first match was against former IWGP Heavyweight champion, amateur and professional wrestler Kazuyuki Fujita. A heavy favorite, Emelianenko was expected to make quick work of Fujita, but was caught by a right hook that stunned him. Badly hurt, he worked his way to a clinch, but was taken down. With Fujita unable to amount a significant attack, Emelianenko was able to recover. He worked his way up and knocked Fujita down with body kick and a punching combo. He then submitted Fujita at 4:17 in the first round with a rear naked choke.[3][44] Emelianenko reminisced about it in February 2009, "Fujita is the only one who ever hit me right, and he hit hard!".[45]

Next came a one-sided bout against heavy underdog Gary "Big Daddy" Goodridge at Total Elimination 2003.[46] 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.[43] He has since reinjured this hand, leading to several postponed bouts.[47] In 2011, Goodridge recalled his fight with Emelianenko; "Fedor hits so hard, I don't remember anything (from the fight). No one has his speed and power combo. He fought for 10 years at the top. He doesn't owe anything else to the sport."[48]

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. Emelianenko fought at this event as opposed to Shockwave 2003 on the same day due to a higher fight purse because of the competition between the Japanese television networks screening these events and K-1 Premium Dynamite!! on the same night. Pride then set up an interim title match between Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Mirko Crocop Filipović, which ended with Nogueira winning via second round armbar.[49]

PRIDE 2004 Heavyweight World Grand Prix

Four months later, he returned to PRIDE, at Total Elimination 2004, where he met Pride 2000 Grand Prix winner and former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight Champion Mark Coleman for the first time in the ring. After getting taken down, he pulled guard and submitted Coleman with an armbar at 2:11 of the first round to advance in the 2004 Heavyweight Grand Prix.

A notable match with Coleman's protégé Kevin "The Monster" Randleman followed just two months later at the tournament's second round. Randleman, a two-time Division I NCAA Wrestling Champion for Ohio State University and a former UFC Heavyweight Champion, was coming off an upset win over Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipović, which he ended by knockout. Randleman quickly scored a takedown. As Emelianenko gave his back, Randleman delivered a German suplex, slamming him to the canvas headfirst, a move that would become one of the most replayed highlights in PRIDE's and MMA's history for years to come.[50] Emelianenko, seemingly unfazed, rolled over Randleman a few seconds later, getting top position and forcing him to submit with a kimura armlock 1:33 into the first round.[51]

On 15 August 2004, Emelianenko faced six-time All-Japan Judo Champion and Olympic Silver Medalist Naoya Ogawa in the semifinals of the 2004 Grand Prix. After making quick work of Ogawa, winning by armbar, he advanced to face Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira for the second time in his career. Nogueira had won a decision against Emelianenko's former teammate Sergei Kharitonov earlier that night. This match was not only to decide the winner of the 2004 Grand Prix, but to unify the heavyweight championship, as Nogueira was awarded the interim title due to Emelianenko's inability to defend his championship in a timely manner in the previous year.[52] The rematch with Nogueira was very competitive, but the fight was stopped prematurely due to a cut to Emelianenko's head from an accidental head clash while on the ground.[53] A third meeting was thus scheduled for Shockwave 2004, which Emelianenko won. On the line was PRIDE's Heavyweight Championship, and PRIDE's 2004 Heavyweight Grand Prix title, as the final match of the tournament earlier that year was declared a no contest due to an accidental headbutt.[33] Emelianenko this time chose not to engage Nogueira on the ground, in spite of having dominated him there in their first match. He overpowered the Brazilian on his feet in the first round, beating him to the punch for the first nine minutes.[53] Nogueira faced great difficulty, getting dropped with punches and tossed to the mat multiple times by Judo throws. He was not able to implement his game plan of putting Emelianenko on his back, save for the final 30 seconds of the first round. He was not able to pull guard for any considerable time.[54] During the second and third rounds, Emelianenko's takedown defense and counter-punching earned him a unanimous decision victory to retain the heavyweight championship.[53]

Title defense against Mirko Filipović

The following year, Emelianenko signed to fight PRIDE's top heavyweight contender, and former K-1 star Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipović. This was a highly anticipated match. After Mirko had made a successful switch from K-1 to MMA, he quickly rose in the rankings with victories over Igor Vovchachyn, Kazuyuki Fujita and a KO win over Emelianenko's younger brother. He then made a public challenge to Emelianenko and the bout was supposed to take place in late 2003. After a contract dispute, Emelianenko temporarily left PRIDE to fight for Inoki's Boom Ba Ye promotion, on New Year's Eve 2003. This prompted PRIDE to set up an Interim Heavyweight Title Match between Crocop and Nogueira. After completely dominating the first round, Crocop was caught in an armbar early in the second round, making Nogueira the Interim champion and number-one challenger for Emelianenko's belt. Mirko got further derailed from title contention when in the first round of PRIDE Heavyweight Grand Prix 2004, he was upset by Kevin Randleman, who knocked him out early by ground strikes following a vicious left hook.

Later that year, Mirko began his recovery by defeating Ron Waterman, winning his rematch with Kevin Randleman by submission and scoring a dominant TKO over Mark Coleman in the first round. Those wins made Mirko again the number-one heavyweight contender, following Fedor's successful title defense against Nogueira on PRIDE's New Year's Eve show in 2004.

The match between Emelianenko and Filipović finally took place at PRIDE Final Conflict 2005.[55][56] In the first round, Emelianenko was stunned and had his nose broken by two stiff jabs from Filipović. He got hit by body kicks that discolored his midsection. Emelianenko was then able to get the fight to the ground and land several body shots, which weakened his opponent. As the fight progressed, Emelianenko became more and more dominant, winning most of the stand up exchanges and scoring several takedowns. After 20 minutes, Emelianenko was awarded victory by unanimous decision.[57][58][59]

Later PRIDE years

Emelianenko came back on New Year's Eve, where he outclassed the 450-pound Brazilian Zuluzinho in a non-title bout. Emelianenko dropped him with a right hook and finished with several ground strikes which forced him to tap out after only 26 seconds.

Although originally endangered due to Emelianenko's recurring hand injury, a plate inserted in his hand enabled a rematch with Coleman in Pride's American debut show, Pride 32.[60][61] In a fight where Coleman was unable to mount any significant offense, Emelianenko pounded him in the first round with punches, before securing an armbar at 1:15 in the second round.[62]

Emelianenko's last defense of his Pride Heavyweight title was against 2001 K-1 World Grand Prix champion Mark Hunt at Shockwave 2006. Josh Barnett was originally slated to fight Emelianenko for the Heavyweight title, but turned down the fight, asserting that he was unprepared. With Filipović's departure to the UFC organization in late 2006, Hunt became number-one contender. Sporting a broken toe during the contest, Emelianenko nevertheless secured an armbar in the second minute of the first round, but Hunt was able to escape and counter by stepping over Emelianenko, ending in side control.[63] At five minutes into the first round, Hunt made two attempts at an americana on Emelianenko's left arm but failed to complete them.[64] Emelianenko got back to his feet and after struggling to take the fight to the ground, he submitted Hunt with a kimura at 8:16 in the first round.[65]

BodogFight

With a special clause in his Pride contract that allowed him to fight under the banner of any MMA organization as long as the event was held on Russian soil, Emelianenko accepted a match in BodogFight against Matt Lindland. The fight was held on 14 April 2007 at the "Clash of the Nations" event in St. Petersburg, Russia. Lindland moved up two weight classes (from middleweight to heavyweight) for the match and came in weighing 212.5 lb (96.5 kg) to Emelianenko's 230 lb (104.5 kg).[66]

Early in the fight, Lindland opened a cut above Emelianenko's left eye and clinched with him, pushing him into the corner and working for a takedown. At this point, the referee warned Emelianenko against grabbing the ropes and Emelianenko corrected himself. After a few seconds in the clinch, Lindland attempted a bodylock takedown. When Lindland lifted Emelianenko from his feet, Emelianenko reversed the takedown, landing in Lindland's half guard. The fight then remained on the ground where Emelianenko won by submission via armbar at 2:58 of the first round.[67]

M-1 Global

After the purchase of Pride Fighting Championships by Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta III and the expiration of Emelianenko's Pride contract, there was speculation about him fighting in the UFC, especially after a public falling out between Bodog's Calvin Ayre and Emelianenko's manager, Vadim Finkelstein.[68] In a June 2007 interview with the Baltimore Sun, Chuck Liddell suggested that Emelianenko was on his way to the UFC.[69] Dana White expressed interest in signing Emelianenko, but considered his management team to be the primary barrier,[70] whereas Finkelstein cited difficult negotiations as the reason.[71] A main point of contention between the two was Finkelstein's request for the UFC to work with his Russian M-1 promotion, extending contractual offers to other members of the Red Devil Sport Club, and permitting Emelianenko to compete in combat sambo tournaments.[68] At UFC 76 however, UFC president Dana White stated that he expected Emelianenko to sign with the UFC in late 2007 or early 2008, after Emelianenko finished competing in a Sambo competition that White would not allow him to participate in under a UFC contract. He revealed his intent to set up a unification bout with UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture as his first UFC fight.[72] Nevertheless, negotiations broke down,[73] as Emelianenko committed to a non-exclusive, two-year and six-fight deal with M-1 Global in October 2007.[74]

Yarennoka

President and CEO of M-1 Global Monte Cox confirmed Emelianenko would face South Korean kickboxer Hong-Man Choi in a New Year's Eve event, Yarennoka!, taking place in Japan and organized by former Pride staff with support from M-1 Global, FEG, and DEEP. A special rule was used for this fight to not allow any knee strikes on the ground. The fight was broadcast live in the United States on cable network HDNet.[75] Emelianenko defeated Choi in the opening round by submission via an armbar.[76]

DREAM

On 13 February 2008, Emelianenko attended a press conference held by Dream, a newly formed Japanese mixed martial arts promoter. Vadim Finkelstein confirmed that the organization had a tightly knit alliance with M-1 Global and that Emelianenko would be fighting on the new organization's fight cards.[77] M-1 Global CEO Vadim Finkelstein recently revealed plans to organize a fight for Fedor in co-operation with Dream, possibly on New Year's Eve in Japan.[78]

Affliction

On 19 July 2008, at Affliction: Banned, Emelianenko faced former two-time UFC Heavyweight Champion Tim Sylvia. Sylvia was coming off a submission loss via guillotine choke at the hands of Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 81 in a title fight for the interim UFC Heavyweight Championship. Sylvia was the fourth-ranked heavyweight fighter in MMA by Sherdog.com prior to his fight with Emelianenko.[79]

Emelianenko defeated Sylvia in 36 seconds. He dropped him with a quick punch combination, took his back and then finished the fight via submission due to a rear naked choke. Sylvia said in the post-fight press conference, "I know that I'm one of the best in the world, I was amazed at how good Fedor is. He hurt me right away and submitted me. The guy's a stud. I don't even think he's human. That guy hits hard. I've never been hit that hard before."[80]

UFC President Dana White, who had previously criticized the fighter, asserted that he was impressed with Emelianenko's performance against ex-UFC champion Sylvia. When asked if the submission win changed his opinion on Fedor, White said; "It does. Tim Sylvia was a real opponent."[81]

After the fight, UFC Heavyweight Champion Randy Couture entered the ring and Emelianenko expressed his desire to fight Couture next. However, Couture's contract with the UFC prevented the fight from occurring outside of the organization.

On 24 January 2009, at Affliction: Day of Reckoning, Emelianenko fought former UFC Heavyweight Champion Andrei Arlovski, who was widely considered a top-5 heavyweight at the time. Arlovski was on a five bout win streak and was ranked as high as No. 2 by Sherdog.com.[82] Arlovski had some early success in the fight, landing punches and kicks.[83] However, as Emelianenko backed into the ropes, Arlovski attempted a flying knee and Emelianenko was able to counter with an overhand right which resulted in a brutal knockout of Arlovski at 3:14 of the first round.[83] The victory was awarded knockout of the year for 2009 by Sherdog. The preparation for this bout overlapped with filming for the movie "The 5th Execution".[84][85]

Emelianenko met Shinya Aoki during a five-minute "special exhibition" at an 29 April M-1 Challenge (presented by Affliction) event in Tokyo. Emelianenko made Aoki tap out from an Achilles lock just before the bell sounded to end the exhibition.[86] In another exhibition match, Emelianenko met Gegard Mousasi, a friend and teammate, during M-1 Global: Breakthrough, held in Kansas City on 28 August. The two friends fought a competitive and friendly spirited exhibition with several Judo throws from both Emelianenko and Mousasi. Emelianenko finished the fight via armbar.[87]

Emelianenko was scheduled to fight former UFC Heavyweight Champion Josh Barnett on 1 August 2009, at Affliction: Trilogy, but on 22 July Barnett was denied his license to compete by the California State Athletic Commission after testing positive for anabolic steroids.[88][89] On 23 July 2009, Vitor Belfort – who was already on the card – was reported as a likely replacement,[90] but the next day Affliction canceled the event citing limited time to find a suitable replacement and inadequate time to promote the fight.[91]

Negotiations with the UFC

After the collapse of Affliction, UFC President Dana White tried repeatedly to sign Emelianenko to an exclusive UFC contract.[92] White said of Emelianenko; "He has become my obsession. I want it (him in the UFC) worse than the fans want it."[93] Widely considered to be the best heavyweight MMA fighter at the time, Emelianenko would receive an immediate title shot against then current UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar, an event that White deemed "huge".[94] After reportedly offering Emelianenko a contract worth just under 2 million US dollars per fight, with incentives to make much more based on pay per view revenues for fights he headlined,[95] negotiations fell apart after Emelianenko's management team demanded a co-promotion between UFC and M-1 Global, terms which White deemed unacceptable.[94][95] Other media outlets placed much of the blame on UFC: "Trying to get out in front of the public relations skirmish that would follow the UFC’s failure to sign Emeliananeko, a UFC insider leaked bogus contract terms to Carmichael Dave, a California-based radio host. The tactic was effective. Fans and the online media turned against the Russian and his team. The tactic also may have backfired. Emelianenko was reportedly softening and considering signing with the UFC. The leak, which M-1 Global criticized as inaccurate and inappropriate, shut down negotiations for good."[96]

In 2012, UFC President Dana White tried to lure Emelianenko out of retirement after overwhelming fan demand for a UFC bout between Emelianenko and Brock Lesnar.[97][98] However, White stated that Emelianenko was firmly retired.[97]

Strikeforce

Following the failed negotiations with the UFC, Emelianenko signed a three-fight contract with Strikeforce.[99] Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker confirmed that Emelianenko's debut would take place on 7 November, broadcast nationally on CBS.[100][101]

Emelianenko's first fight in Strikeforce was against then-undefeated Brett Rogers in the main event of Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Rogers on 7 November 2009. Rogers was coming off a knockout win over Arlovski and was ranked No. 6 by Sherdog.com at the time.[102] Emelianenko landed early in the first round, but failed to secure a submission after two attempts. In the second round he knocked Rogers down with an overhand right, then punched him three more times on the mat to secure the victory via TKO at 1:48. The win was Emelianenko's third straight victory against a top-10 heavyweight opponent.

Emelianenko suffered his first loss in 10 years on 26 June 2010 to Fabricio Werdum. After knocking Werdum down early in the first round, Emelianenko closed in, but Werdum secured a deep triangle and an armbar from his guard, and Fedor was forced to tap. The loss was considered to be an upset.[103]

Emelianenko stated through a translator on The MMA Hour that he considered retirement before the Werdum fight due to accumulating injuries and ageing.[104]

In January 2011, it was announced that Fedor had agreed to enter the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix, and would face Silva on 12 February in the first quarterfinal match.[105] After a close first round, Silva took control in round 2. After passing to mount, he unleashed a barrage of ground-and-pound that ultimately caused Emelianenko's right eye to swell shut. Ringside doctors called a stop, stating that Emelianenko could not see.[106]

Emelianenko faced Dan Henderson on 30 July 2011 at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson. After both fighters landed significant punches in the first round, Fedor knocked Henderson down with a combination of strikes. Fedor followed Henderson to the mat and began to ground-and-pound him but Henderson was able to sweep and reverse position before delivering a punch underneath Fedor's armpit which landed on his chin, knocking Fedor unconscious, and sending him face first into the mat. Henderson continued to punch Fedor until referee Herb Dean jumped in to stop the fight. Dean explained, saying, "The fight is over when he's unconscious. Because he comes back swiftly after I've already stepped in and stopped the fight, I can't restart the fight. Dan's still throwing punches, but once I've touched Dan, I've stopped the fight. If I was to do it again – if I see a fighter face down receiving shots, I'm going to step in and stop the fight. I can't predict how long he's going to be unconscious for."[107]

Following his third loss in a row, Emelianenko was reportedly released from Strikeforce. UFC president Dana White stated he was being released, "Yeah, he's being cut."[108] However, Emelianenko disputed White's claims, saying, "That's Dana White's style to make comments. I didn't have a contract with Strikeforce. My current contract is with Showtime. So I think people shouldn't pay attention to these "loud" comments."[109] According to M-1 Global Director of Operations Evgeni Kogan, Fedor was only under contract to Showtime and from there he fought under the Strikeforce banner, but was never a direct employee of Zuffa, and therefore was not "cut". "Strikeforce is not the only MMA promotion on Showtime so there are a number of options for Fedor which will be looked at," Kogan told MMA Weekly.[110]

Return to Russia, Japan and retirement

Following his stint in Strikeforce, Emelianenko fought Jeff Monson at M-1 Global on 20 November 2011 at the Olympic Arena in Moscow, Russia.[111] He won the fight via unanimous decision and snapped a three-fight losing streak.

After four years, Emelianenko made his return to Japan—where he spent most of his career—at Fight For Japan: Genki Desu Ka Omisoka 2011 on 31 December, facing Olympic judo gold medalist Satoshi Ishii. Emelianenko won by knockout in the first round.[112]

On 21 June 2012 in St. Petersburg, Russia, Emelianenko faced three-time UFC heavyweight title contender Pedro Rizzo in an M-1 Global event.[113][114] Prior to the bout, it was rumored that Fedor would retire.[115] Originally denying retirement rumors, Emelianenko made his announcement post-fight after defeating Rizzo by knockout in the first two minutes of the first round.[116][117]

Although Emelianenko is retired as a competitor, he remained president of the Russian MMA Union.[118]


Championships and accomplishments

Mixed martial arts record

|- | style="background:#bfd; color:black; vertical-align:middle; text-align:center; " class="table-yes2" |Win | align=center| 35–4 (1) | Pedro Rizzo | KO (punches) | M-1 Global: Fedor vs. Rizzo | 21 June 2012 | align=center| 1 | align=center| 1:24 | St. Petersburg, Leningrad Oblast, Russia | |- | style="background:#bfd; color:black; vertical-align:middle; text-align:center; " class="table-yes2" |Win | align=center| 34–4 (1) | Satoshi Ishii | KO (punches) | Fight For Japan: Genki Desu Ka Omisoka 2011 | 31 December 2011 | align=center| 1 | align=center| 2:29 | Saitama, Saitama, Japan | |- | style="background:#bfd; color:black; vertical-align:middle; text-align:center; " class="table-yes2" |Win | align=center| 33–4 (1) | Jeff Monson | Decision (unanimous) | M-1 Global: Fedor vs. Monson | 20 November 2011 | align=center| 3 | align=center| 5:00 | Moscow, Moscow Oblast, Russia | |- | style="background: #ffdddd; color: black; vertical-align: middle; text-align: center; " class="table-no2" |Loss | align=center| 32–4 (1) | Dan Henderson | TKO (punches) | Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson | 30 July 2011 | align=center| 1 | align=center| 4:12 | Hoffman Estates, Illinois, United States | |- | style="background: #ffdddd; color: black; vertical-align: middle; text-align: center; " class="table-no2" |Loss | align=center| 32–3 (1) | Antonio Silva | TKO (doctor stoppage) | Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Silva | 12 February 2011 | align=center| 2 | align=center| 5:00 | East Rutherford, New Jersey, United States | Strikeforce 2011 Heavyweight Grand Prix Quarterfinal. |- | style="background: #ffdddd; color: black; vertical-align: middle; text-align: center; " class="table-no2" |Loss | align=center| 32–2 (1) | Fabricio Werdum | Submission (triangle armbar) | Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Werdum | 26 June 2010 | align=center| 1 | align=center| 1:09 | San Jose, California, United States | |- | style="background:#bfd; color:black; vertical-align:middle; text-align:center; " class="table-yes2" |Win | align=center| 32–1 (1) | Brett Rogers | KO (punch) | Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Rogers | 7 November 2009 | align=center| 2 | align=center| 1:48 | Hoffman Estates, Illinois, United States | Defended WAMMA Heavyweight Championship. |- | style="background:#bfd; color:black; vertical-align:middle; text-align:center; " class="table-yes2" |Win | align=center| 31–1 (1) | Andrei Arlovski | KO (punch) | Affliction: Day of Reckoning | 24 January 2009 | align=center| 1 | align=center| 3:14 | Anaheim, California, United States | Defended WAMMA Heavyweight Championship. |- | style="background:#bfd; color:black; vertical-align:middle; text-align:center; " class="table-yes2" |Win | align=center| 30–1 (1) | Tim Sylvia | Submission (rear naked choke) | Affliction: Banned | 19 July 2008 | align=center| 1 | align=center| 0:36 | Anaheim, California, United States | Won inaugural WAMMA Heavyweight Championship. |- | style="background:#bfd; color:black; vertical-align:middle; text-align:center; " class="table-yes2" |Win | align=center| 29–1 (1) | Choi Hong-man | Submission (armbar) | Yarennoka! | 31 December 2007 | align=center| 1 | align=center| 1:54 | Saitama, Saitama, Japan | |- | style="background:#bfd; color:black; vertical-align:middle; text-align:center; " class="table-yes2" |Win | align=center| 28–1 (1) | Matt Lindland | Submission (armbar) | BodogFIGHT: Clash of the Nations | 14 April 2007 | align=center| 1 | align=center| 2:58 | St. Petersburg, Leningrad Oblast, Russia | |- | style="background:#bfd; color:black; vertical-align:middle; text-align:center; " class="table-yes2" |Win | align=center| 27–1 (1) | Mark Hunt | Submission (kimura) | Pride Shockwave 2006 | 31 December 2006 | align=center| 1 | align=center| 8:16 | Saitama, Saitama, Japan | Defended Pride Heavyweight Championship. |- | style="background:#bfd; color:black; vertical-align:middle; text-align:center; " class="table-yes2" |Win | align=center| 26–1 (1) | Mark Coleman | Submission (armbar) | Pride 32 | 21 October 2006 | align=center| 2 | align=center| 1:17 | Las Vegas, Nevada, United States | |- | style="background:#bfd; color:black; vertical-align:middle; text-align:center; " class="table-yes2" |Win | align=center| 25–1 (1) | Zuluzinho | Submission (punches) | Pride Shockwave 2005 | 31 December 2005 | align=center| 1 | align=center| 0:26 | Saitama, Saitama, Japan | |- | style="background:#bfd; color:black; vertical-align:middle; text-align:center; " class="table-yes2" |Win | align=center| 24–1 (1) | Mirko Filipovic | Decision (Unanimous) | Pride Final Conflict 2005 | 28 August 2005 | align=center| 3 | align=center| 5:00 | Saitama, Saitama, Japan | Defended Pride Heavyweight Championship. |- | style="background:#bfd; color:black; vertical-align:middle; text-align:center; " class="table-yes2" |Win | align=center| 23–1 (1) | Tsuyoshi Kohsaka | TKO (doctor stoppage) | Pride Bushido 6 | 3 April 2005 | align=center| 1 | align=center| 10:00 | Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan | |- | style="background:#bfd; color:black; vertical-align:middle; text-align:center; " class="table-yes2" |Win | align=center| 22–1 (1) | Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira | Decision (unanimous) | Pride Shockwave 2004 | 31 December 2004 | align=center| 3 | align=center| 5:00 | Saitama, Saitama, Japan | PRIDE 2004 Heavyweight Grand Prix Final.
Unified Pride Interim Heavyweight Championship.
|- | style="background-color: #c5d2ea; text-align:center" |NC | align=center| 21–1 (1) | Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira | NC (accidental headbutt) | Pride Final Conflict 2004 | 15 August 2004 | align=center| 1 | align=center| 3:52 | Saitama, Saitama, Japan | PRIDE 2004 Heavyweight Grand Prix Final. |- | style="background:#bfd; color:black; vertical-align:middle; text-align:center; " class="table-yes2" |Win | align=center| 21–1 | Naoya Ogawa | Submission (armbar) | Pride Final Conflict 2004 | 15 August 2004 | align=center| 1 | align=center| 0:54 | Saitama, Saitama, Japan | PRIDE 2004 Heavyweight Grand Prix Semifinal. |- | style="background:#bfd; color:black; vertical-align:middle; text-align:center; " class="table-yes2" |Win | align=center| 20–1 | Kevin Randleman | Submission (kimura) | Pride Critical Countdown 2004 | 20 June 2004 | align=center| 1 | align=center| 1:33 | Saitama, Saitama, Japan | PRIDE 2004 Heavyweight Grand Prix Quarterfinal. |- | style="background:#bfd; color:black; vertical-align:middle; text-align:center; " class="table-yes2" |Win | align=center| 19–1 | Mark Coleman | Submission (armbar) | Pride Total Elimination 2004 | 25 April 2004 | align=center| 1 | align=center| 2:11 | Saitama, Saitama, Japan | PRIDE 2004 Heavyweight Grand Prix Opening Round. |- | style="background:#bfd; color:black; vertical-align:middle; text-align:center; " class="table-yes2" |Win | align=center| 18–1 | Yuji Nagata | TKO (punches) | Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye 2003 | 31 December 2003 | align=center| 1 | align=center| 1:02 | Kobe, Hyogo, Japan | |- | style="background:#bfd; color:black; vertical-align:middle; text-align:center; " class="table-yes2" |Win | align=center| 17–1 | Gary Goodridge | TKO (soccer kicks & punches) | Pride Total Elimination 2003 | 10 August 2003 | align=center| 1 | align=center| 1:09 | Saitama, Saitama, Japan | |- | style="background:#bfd; color:black; vertical-align:middle; text-align:center; " class="table-yes2" |Win | align=center| 16–1 | Kazuyuki Fujita | Submission (rear naked choke) | Pride 26 | 8 June 2003 | align=center| 1 | align=center| 4:17 | Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan | |- | style="background:#bfd; color:black; vertical-align:middle; text-align:center; " class="table-yes2" |Win | align=center| 15–1 | Egidijus Valavicius | Submission (kimura) | RINGS Bushido Rings 7: Adrenalinas | 5 April 2003 | align=center| 2 | align=center| 1:11 | Vilnius, Lithuania | |- | style="background:#bfd; color:black; vertical-align:middle; text-align:center; " class="table-yes2" |Win | align=center| 14–1 | Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira | Decision (unanimous) | Pride 25 | 16 March 2003 | align=center| 3 | align=center| 5:00 | Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan | Won Pride Heavyweight Championship. |- | style="background:#bfd; color:black; vertical-align:middle; text-align:center; " class="table-yes2" |Win | align=center| 13–1 | Heath Herring | TKO (doctor stoppage) | Pride 23 | 24 November 2002 | align=center| 1 | align=center| 10:00 | Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan | |- | style="background:#bfd; color:black; vertical-align:middle; text-align:center; " class="table-yes2" |Win | align=center| 12–1 | Semmy Schilt | Decision (unanimous) | Pride 21 | 23 June 2002 | align=center| 3 | align=center| 5:00 | Saitama, Saitama, Japan | |- | style="background:#bfd; color:black; vertical-align:middle; text-align:center; " class="table-yes2" |Win | align=center| 11–1 | Chris Haseman | TKO (punches) | RINGS: World Title Series Grand Final | 15 February 2002 | align=center| 1 | align=center| 2:50 | Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan | RINGS 2001 Absolute Class Tournament Final. |- | style="background:#bfd; color:black; vertical-align:middle; text-align:center; " class="table-yes2" |Win | align=center| 10–1 | Lee Hasdell | Submission (guillotine choke) | Rings: World Title Series 5 | 21 December 2001 | align=center| 1 | align=center| 4:10 | Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan | RINGS 2001 Absolute Class Tournament Semifinal. |- | style="background:#bfd; color:black; vertical-align:middle; text-align:center; " class="table-yes2" |Win | align=center| 9–1 | Ryushi Yanagisawa | Decision (unanimous) | Rings: World Title Series 4 | 20 October 2001 | align=center| 3 | align=center| 5:00 | Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan | RINGS 2001 Absolute Class Tournament Quarterfinal. |- | style="background:#bfd; color:black; vertical-align:middle; text-align:center; " class="table-yes2" |Win | align=center| 7–1 | Renato Sobral | Decision (unanimous) | Rings: 10th Anniversary | 11 August 2001 | align=center| 2 | align=center| 5:00 | Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan | RINGS 2001 Openweight Title Tournament Semifinal. |- | style="background:#bfd; color:black; vertical-align:middle; text-align:center; " class="table-yes2" |Win | align=center| 6–1 | Kerry Schall | Submission (armbar) | Rings: World Title Series 1 | 20 April 2001 | align=center| 1 | align=center| 1:47 | Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan | RINGS 2001 Openweight Title Tournament Quarterfinal. |- | style="background:#bfd; color:black; vertical-align:middle; text-align:center; " class="table-yes2" |Win | align=center| 5–1 | Mihail Apostolov | Submission (rear naked choke) | Rings Russia: Russia vs. Bulgaria | 6 April 2001 | align=center| 1 | align=center| 1:03 | Yekaterinburg, Sverdlovsk Oblast, Russia | |- | style="background: #ffdddd; color: black; vertical-align: middle; text-align: center; " class="table-no2" |Loss | align=center| 4–1 | Tsuyoshi Kohsaka | TKO (doctor stoppage) | Rings: King of Kings 2000 Block B | 22 December 2000 | align=center| 1 | align=center| 0:17 | Osaka, Osaka, Japan | RINGS King of Kings 2000 Tournament 2nd Round |- | style="background:#bfd; color:black; vertical-align:middle; text-align:center; " class="table-yes2" |Win | align=center| 4–0 | Ricardo Arona | Decision (unanimous) | Rings: King of Kings 2000 Block B | 21 December 2000 | align=center| 3 | align=center| 5:00 | Osaka, Osaka, Japan | RINGS King of Kings 2000 Tournament Opening Round. |- | style="background:#bfd; color:black; vertical-align:middle; text-align:center; " class="table-yes2" |Win | align=center| 3–0 | Hiroya Takada | KO (punches) | Rings: Battle Genesis Vol. 6 | 5 September 2000 | align=center| 1 | align=center| 0:12 | Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan | |- | style="background:#bfd; color:black; vertical-align:middle; text-align:center; " class="table-yes2" |Win | align=center| 2–0 | Levon Lagvilava | Submission (rear naked choke) | Rings: Russia vs. Georgia | 16 August 2000 | align=center| 1 | align=center| 7:24 | Tula, Tula Oblast, Russia | |- | style="background:#bfd; color:black; vertical-align:middle; text-align:center; " class="table-yes2" |Win | align=center| 1–0 | Martin Lazarov | Submission (guillotine choke) | Rings Russia: Russia vs. Bulgaria | 21 May 2000 | align=center| 1 | align=center| 2:24 | Ekaterinburg, Sverdlovsk Oblast, Russia | |}

Mixed martial arts exhibition record

|- | style="background:#bfd; color:black; vertical-align:middle; text-align:center; " class="table-yes2" |Win | align=center| 2–0 | Gegard Mousasi | Submission (armbar) | M-1 Global: Breakthrough | 29 August 2009 | align=center| 1 | align=center| 3:27 | Kansas City, Missouri, United States | Openweight bout. |- | style="background:#bfd; color:black; vertical-align:middle; text-align:center; " class="table-yes2" |Win | align=center| 1–0 | Shinya Aoki | Submission (achilles lock) | M-1 Challenge 14: Japan | 29 April 2009 | align=center| 1 | align=center| 2:53 | Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan | Openweight bout. |}

Entrance music

Year(s) Entrance Music
Jul. 2011 – Jun. 2012 "The Song of the Volga Boatmen" by Andrew Zheleznyakov
Jul. 2008 – Feb. 2011 "Oy, to ne vecher" by Andrew Zheleznyakov
Jun. 2002 – Dec. 2007 "Enae Volare (Mezzo)" by ERA
Sept. 2000 – Feb. 2002 "Breathe" by The Prodigy

Political career

Towards the end of his mixed martial arts career, Emelianenko entered politics. He was elected to a five-year term as a deputy of the Belgorod Regional Duma on 10 October 2010 under the United Russia political party.[169]

On 28 July 2012, Emelianenko replaced Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev as a staff member of Russia's Council of Physical Fitness & Sports. The corresponding decree was signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin.[170][171][172]

Filmography

Film
Year Title Role Notes
2009 Fedor: The Baddest Man on the Planet Himself Documentary
2009 CNBC Originals: Ultimate Fighting: Fistful of Dollars Himself Archive footage
2010 The 5th Execution Fedor
Television
Year Title Role Notes
2006 Infinite Challenge Guest Season 4, Episode 18: "Wrestling Challenges Part 1"
2006 Infinite Challenge Guest Season 4, Episode 19: "Wrestling Challenges Part 2"
2007 Human Weapon Himself Season 1, Episode 11: "Sambo"
2008 Inside MMA Guest
2008 Starking Guest
2009 Sports Science Guest Season 2, Episode 1: "Choked and Slammed"
2009 Inside MMA Guest "KO Punch of the Year" Bazzie Award Winner
2012 Starking Guest
2012 Talent Directory Quiz Guest Ultimate Sumo Championship 2012 contestant
Video games
Year Title Role Notes
2003 Pride GP Grand Prix 2003 - Playstation 2/Arcade Himself Playable character
2010 EA Sports MMA Himself Cover athlete and playable character
Advertising
Year Brand Country
2008 Affliction Clothing International
2009 Snickers South Korea
2011 Forward Sportswear Russia
2012 Mercedes-Benz Russia

Bibliography

Author Title Year Publisher ISBN Notes
Fedor Emelianenko, Glen Cordoza, Erich Krauss Fedor: The Fighting System of the World's Undisputed King of MMA 2008 Victory Belt Publishing 9780977731541
Fedor Emelianenko, Vasily Shestakov, Svetlana Eregina Sambo: The Science of Winning 2012 OLMA Media Group 9785373048637

See also

References

External links

  • Fedor Emelianenko "The Last Emperor" Official Website: news, fights, videos, photos.
  • The Official Site of Fedor Emelianenko
  • Sherdog
New championship 1st WAMMA Heavyweight Champion
19 July 2008 – c. 2010
Incumbent
Preceded by
Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira
2nd PRIDE Heavyweight Champion
16 March 2003 – c. 2007
Incumbent
Vacant
Title last held by
Gilbert Yvel
5th RINGS Openweight Champion
11 August 2001 – c. 2003
Incumbent