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Fedor Emelianenko

Fedor Emelianenko
Фёдор Емельяненко
Fedor at the Caesars Palace's Roman Plaza on 19 October 2006
Born Fedor Vladimirovich Emelianenko
(1976-09-28) 28 September 1976
Rubizhne, Luhansk Oblast, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union
Native name Фёдор Емельяненко
Other names The Last Emperor[1]
Residence Stary Oskol, Belgorod Oblast, Russia
Nationality Russian[2]
Height 6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Weight 105 kg (231 lb; 16 st 7 lb)
Division Heavyweight
Reach 74.0 in (188 cm)
Style Sambo and Judo
Fighting out of Stary Oskol, Belgorod, Russia
Team Red Devil Sport Club/Alexander Nevsky OEMK[3] (2003 – present)
Russian Top Team (2000–2003)
Teacher(s) Volk Han
Andrei Kopylov
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 39
Wins 34
By knockout 10
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]
Mixed martial arts record from 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: )[7] (born 28 September 1976) is a Russian politician and retired Heavyweight mixed martial artist (MMA), sambist, and judoka. He has won championships and accolades in multiple sports, most notably in MMA Pride Fighting Championships (heavyweight champion 2003-2007), FIAS World Combat Sambo Championship (Heavyweight Champion 2002, 2005, 2007), and Russian Judo Federation National Championship (Bronze medal 1998, 1999).

Emelianenko began his MMA career on May 21, 2000, with four straight victories, including a win over ADCC champion Ricardo Arona, which is considered one of his toughest fights in his career.[8] Then came a controversial[9] loss to Tsuyoshi Kohsaka on December 22, 2000. In his next 28 fights up until June 26, 2010 Emelianenko was unbeaten, including wins over four former UFC champions, one Pride FC champion, one former and two future K-1 champions and two former Olympic medalists.[10] During this period he defeated eleven top-10 ranked fighters (two of them twice),[11] in addition to winning a rematch against Kohsaka.

Emelianenko has earned numerous MMA accolades over the years, including; 2008 Submission/Beatdown of the Year awards, 2009 Knockout of the Year awards, Heavyweight of the Year awards, Fighter of the Year awards and 2000s Fight of the Decade awards.[12] Sports Illustrated, among other publications, named him the top MMA fighter of the decade.[13] He is widely considered to have had the best ground-and-pound in the history of the sport.[14] In addition he has been regarded for his wide ranging skills in various aspects of MMA, with MMA analyst Jack Slack writing "Very few men can claim to have Olympic alternate level judo and still able to out-strike the best kickboxer in MMA history".[15] Sports and MMA media, ESPN, Bleacher Report, Sherdog, SB Nation (mmafighting) and Fight Matrix, list him as the greatest MMA Heavyweight fighter of all time.[16] Emelianenko is also the longest reigning top pound for pound ranked fighter in MMA history.[17][18] Former combat sports fighters Chuck Norris and Mike Tyson; current combat sports fighters such as Cain Velasquez, Junior Dos Santos, Fabricio Werdum, and Jose Aldo; and other publications have called Emelianenko the greatest mixed martial artist of all time.[19][20] MMA referee John McCarthy, 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.[21]

Between June 26, 2010 and June 21, 2012, Emelianenko suffered three consecutive losses, to top-10 ranked Heavyweight fighters Fabricio Werdum and Antonio Silva[22] 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,[23] and became acting president of the Russian mma union.[24] He is currently also a staff member of Russia's Presidential Council on Physical Fitness & Sports (2012 – present),[25] and a deputy at Belgorod Regional Duma (2010 – present).[26][27]


  • Early life 1
  • Mixed martial arts career 2
    • Club affiliation 2.1
    • RINGS 2.2
    • PRIDE Fighting championships 2.3
    • PRIDE 2004 Heavyweight World Grand Prix 2.4
    • Title defense against Mirko Filipović 2.5
    • Later PRIDE years 2.6
    • BodogFight 2.7
    • M-1 Global 2.8
    • Yarennoka 2.9
    • DREAM 2.10
    • Affliction 2.11
    • Negotiations with the UFC 2.12
    • Strikeforce 2.13
    • Return to Russia, Japan and retirement 2.14
    • Championships and accomplishments 2.15
      • Mixed martial arts 2.15.1
      • Sambo 2.15.2
      • Judo 2.15.3
      • Miscellaneous 2.15.4
    • Mixed martial arts record 2.16
      • Mixed martial arts exhibition record 2.16.1
      • Entrance music 2.16.2
  • Political career 3
  • Personal life 4
  • Filmography 5
    • Film 5.1
    • Television 5.2
    • Video games 5.3
    • Advertising 5.4
  • Bibliography 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9

Early life

Emelianenko was born in 1976 in the city of Rubizhne, Luhansk Oblast, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union.[28] 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.

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.[29] During this time his parents divorced.[30]

Mixed martial arts career

Club affiliation

Emelianenko began his mixed martial arts as a member of Russian Top Team (RTT),[31][32] 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.[32] 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.[33][34][35]


Emelianenko made his MMA debut for the Japanese 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.[36] 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.[37] 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.[38][39]

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.[40] Emelianenko, considered an underdog, dominated Herring with ground and pound, winning by doctor stoppage after the first round.[41]

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.[32] 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.[42]

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][43] Emelianenko reminisced about it in February 2009, "Fujita is the only one who ever hit me right, and he hit hard!".[44]

Next came a one-sided bout against heavy underdog Gary "Big Daddy" Goodridge at Total Elimination 2003.[45] 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.[42] He has since reinjured this hand, leading to several postponed bouts.[46] 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."[47]

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.[48]

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 second 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.[49] 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.[50]

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.[51] 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.[52] 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.[32] 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.[52] 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.[53] During the second and third rounds, Emelianenko's takedown defense and counter-punching earned him a unanimous decision victory to retain the heavyweight championship.[52]

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.[54][55] 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.[56][57][58]

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.[59][60] 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.[61]

Emelianenko vs Coleman in Pride 32.

Emelianenko's last defense of his Pride Heavyweight title was against 2001 K-1 World Grand Prix champion side control.[62] At five minutes into the first round, Hunt made two attempts at an americana on Emelianenko's left arm but failed to complete them.[63] 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.[64]


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).[65]

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.[66]

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.[67] In a June 2007 interview with the Baltimore Sun, Chuck Liddell suggested that Emelianenko was on his way to the UFC.[68] Dana White expressed interest in signing Emelianenko, but considered his management team to be the primary barrier,[69] whereas Finkelstein cited difficult negotiations as the reason.[70] 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.[67] 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.[71] Nevertheless, negotiations broke down,[72] as Emelianenko committed to a non-exclusive, two-year and six-fight deal with M-1 Global in October 2007.[73]


President and CEO of M-1 Global Monte Cox confirmed Emelianenko would face South Korean kickboxer 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.[74] Emelianenko defeated Choi in the opening round by submission via an armbar.[75]


On 13 February 2008, Emelianenko attended a press conference held by

New championship 1st WAMMA Heavyweight Champion
19 July 2008 – c. 2010
Preceded by
Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira
2nd PRIDE Heavyweight Champion
16 March 2003 – c. 2007
Title last held by
Gilbert Yvel
5th RINGS Openweight Champion
11 August 2001 – c. 2003
  • Fedor Emelianenko "The Last Emperor" Official Website: news, fights, videos, photos.
  • Professional MMA record for Fedor Emelianenko from Sherdog
  • Fedor Pride FC interviews from Pride Fighting Championships
  • Analayzing Fedor Series: Part 1: Striking, Part 2: Ground and Pound, Part 3: Punch and Clutch from SB Nation.
  • The Top 10 Myths About Fedor Emelianenko from Bleacher Report.
  • By the numbers: The career statistics of Fedor Emelianenko from SB Nation.

External links

  1. ^ a b c d Schwirtz, Michael (20 January 2009). "A Russian Warrior Who Doesn't Battle for Acclaim". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 January 2009. 
  2. ^ Gross, Josh (26 May 2007). "Emelianenko motivated to represent himself in the US". ESPN. Retrieved 15 June 2007. 
  3. ^ a b "Fight Finder – Fedor "The Last Emperor" Emelianenko's Mixed Martial Arts Statistics". Retrieved 18 February 2009. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b Chiappetta, Mike (4 October 2009). "During Midst of Training For Rogers, Fedor Emelianenko Gets Married". Retrieved 4 October 2009. 
  6. ^ "Who are the Champions of Peace?". 
  7. ^ Humber, Yuriy (11 October 2005). "Russian Mixed Martial Arts Fighter Wins Fame and Fortune in the Caged Rings of Japan".  
  8. ^
    • ( January 26, 2009), Fedor's five best performances, Espn, Retrieved May 21, 2014
    • (October 14, 2013), Whatever happened to Ricardo Arona?, SB Nation (bloodyelbow), Retrieved May 21, 2014
  9. ^
    • (February 15, 2011), With Fedor out, Strikeforce tournament finds itself on the ropes, Sports Illustrated, Retrieved May 20, 2014
    • (July 1, 2008), Breaking down Fedor Emelianenko vs. Tim Sylvia (from FIGHT! Magazine),, Retrieved May 20, 2014
    • (December 22, 2008), THIS DAY IN MMA HISTORY: DEC. 22, Sherdog, Retrieved May 20, 2014
    • (April 20, 2009), UFC 18: Rutten rules, Yahoo! Sports, Retrieved May 20, 2014
    • (November 30, 2012), Fedor Emelianenko: Tribute to the Greatest Heavyweight of All Time, Bleacher Report, Retrieved May 20, 2014
  10. ^ Fighter's name and year of title list (Former, Incumbent or Future are relative to the time of the fight with Emelianenko):
    • Former UFC champions: Mark Coleman (1997), Kevin Randleman (1999), Tim Sylvia (2003, 2006), Andrei Arlovski (2005).
    • Incumbent Pride FC champion: Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira (2001-2003)
    • Former K-1 champion: Mark Hunt (2001)
    • Future K-1 champions: Semmy Schilt (2005-2009), Mirko Filipovic (2012)
    • Former Olympic medalists: Naoya Ogawa (Judo, Silver medal, 1992), Matt Lindland (wrestling, Silver medal, 2000)
  11. ^ Generated Historical Rankings - Fighter Search, Fight Matrix, Retrieved May 19, 2014. Fighters ranked in the top 10 at the time of the fight (in chronological order):
    • Renato Sobral #6
    • Semmy Schilt #4
    • Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira #1
    • Gary Goodridge #9
    • Mark Coleman #10
    • Kevin Randleman #7
    • Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira #2
    • Mirko Filipovic #4
    • Mark Coleman #4
    • Mark Hunt #7
    • Tim Sylvia #8
    • Andrei Arlovski #5
    • Brett Rogers #7
  12. ^ See: Championships and accomplishments Section
  13. ^
    • (December 18, 2009), 2000s: Top 10 MMA Fighters, Sports Illustrated Retrieved May 17, 2014
    • (Dec 23 2009), Fighter of the Decade: Fedor Emelianenko, SB Nation (mmafighting), Retrieved May 18, 2014
    • (January 5, 2010), The 10 Greatest Fighters of the Decade, FIGHT! Magazine, Retrieved May 18, 2014
    • Fedor Emelianenko Is The MMA Fighter Of The Decade,, Retrieved May 18, 2014
    • (December 12, 2009), Fedor Emelianenko-Fighter Of The Decade (in Russian),, Retrieved May 18, 2014
  14. ^
    • (December 12, 2011), UFC 140 Results: Tito Ortiz and the 5 Best Ground-and-Pound Artists Ever, Bleacher report Retrieved May 17, 2014
    • Analyzing Fedor: Revolutionizing Ground And Pound, SB Nation (, Retrieved May 17, 2014
    • (January 26, 2009), FEDOR'S 5 BEST PERFORMANCES, Sherdog, Retrieved May 17, 2014
    • (01.24.2009), Fedor Emelianenko vs. Andrei Arlovski,, Retrieved May 17, 2014
    • MMA Bouts We Would Have Loved to See: Velasquez vs. Fedor, Bleacher report Retrieved May 17, 2014
  15. ^ Note: Jack Slack is a notable lead analyst in the world of MMA. His articles are regularly re-posted on the UFC Website.
    • Slack, Jack (June 3, 2012) Analyzing Fedor: Revolutionizing Ground And Pound, SB Nation (, Retrieved October 3, 2014
    • Slack, Jack (May 31, 2012) Analyzing Fedor: The Striking Of The Emperor, SB Nation (, Retrieved October 5, 2014
    • Slack, Jack, Lead MMA Analyst (March 22, 2013) Jack Slack's Top 7 Strikers in MMA to Date, Bleacher Report Retrieved October 5, 2014
  16. ^
    • (December 28, 2012) MMA10: Top all-time heavyweights, Espn Retrieved May 17, 2014
    • (December 16, 2011) The 20 Greatest Heavyweights in MMA History, Bleacher report Retrieved May 17, 2014
    • (September 10, 2011) MMA'S ALL-TIME HEAVYWEIGHTS, Sherdog Retrieved May 17, 2014
    • FEDOR EMELIANENKO Profile,, Retrieved May 18, 2014
    • (October 20, 2013) UFC 166 Aftermath: Cain Velasquez's path to becoming all-time best is clear,, Retrieved May 17, 2014
    • (Jun 13 2011), UFC 131 Results: Shane Carwin And The Death Of An Era, SB Nation, Retrieved May 18, 2014
    • (Last Updated: 5/13/2014) Computerized All-Time Mixed Martial Arts Rankings,, Retrieved May 17, 2014
  17. ^ Generated Historical Ranking,, Retrieved May 17, 2014
  18. ^ (July 29, 2011)By the numbers: The career statistics of Fedor Emelianenko,, Retrieved May 17, 2014
  19. ^
    • (September 6, 2008), The Top 10 Myths About Fedor Emelianenko, Bleacher report, Retrieved May 17, 2014
    • (March 23, 2012)Mike Tyson And Rosie O'Donnell Talk Fedor Emelianenko, Urijah Faber And Love Of MMA,, Retrieved May 17, 2014
    • (July 4, 2012), Anderson Silva vs. Fedor Emelianenko: Who's the Greatest of All Time?, Bleacher report, Retrieved May 17, 2014
    • "THE LAST EMPEROR" Fedor Emelianenko,, Retrieved May 17, 2014
    • (November 18, 2013), Is GSP the GOAT after UFC 167?,, Retrieved May 17, 2014
    • (March 17, 2013), Who is the greatest MMA fighter of all time?,, Retrieved May 17, 2014
    • MMA’s Mount Rushmore,, Retrieved May 17, 2014
    • The Last Emperor, Fight! Australia magazine, Retrieved May 21, 2014
  20. ^
    • (January 2, 2014), BE's Baddest MMA Greatest of All Time Tournament Winner: Fedor Emelianenko,, Retrieved May 17, 2014
    • (07-07-2013), **Who is the G.O.A.T.** w/poll Sherdog forum, Retrieved May 17, 2014
    • (September 4, 2012), Fedor Emelianenko Voted The Greatest Fighter Of All Time By Brazilian Fans,, Retrieved May 17, 2014
    • (December 15, 2010), Cain Velasquez names Fedor Emelianenko as the best of all time, would love to fight him down the line,, Retrieved May 17, 2014
    • (July 19, 2013), Morning Report: Jose Aldo says Fedor Emelianenko is the greatest fighter of all-time,, Retrieved May 17, 2014
    • (October 1, 2012), Junior Dos Santos: 'Fedor Is the Greatest of All Time', Bleacher report Retrieved May 17, 2014
    • (October 22, 2013), Fabricio Werdum "Fedor greater than Anderson Silva in history. Overeem scared of punches", (Official YouTube channel), Retrieved May 24, 2014
    • (February 18, 2011), UFC Quick Quote: Shane Carwin twitter defends Fedor Emelianenko's legacy,, Retrieved May 17, 2014
  21. ^ a b
    • (Feb 5, 2010), Fedor Emelianenko: MMA Legend/ Exemplary Christian (archived) "John McCarthy, MMA analyst and referee: "He is absolutely in the same categories of, you know, the Wayne Gretzkys, the Michael Jordans, the John Elways." , Yahoo! Voices, Retrieved May 18, 2014
    • (September 19, 2014) THE VOICE VERSUS: FEDOR "...if boxing has Ali, football has Pele and basketball has Jordan; then mixed martial arts has Fedor Emelianenko..." min 0.10, AXS TV Retrieved October 1, 2014
    • ( July 13, 2012) Emelianenko deserving of MMA respect , foxsports, Retrieved May 17, 2014
    • (July 19, 2008), Emelianenko ready to cement his stature, Espn, Retrieved May 17, 2014
    • (July 29, 2011), MMA: Fedor Emelianenko takes on Dan Henderson, but should he retire?, Los Angeles Times, Retrieved May 17, 2014
    • (July 4, 2012), Anderson Silva vs. Fedor Emelianenko: Who's the Greatest of All Time?, Bleacher report, Retrieved May 17, 2014
  22. ^ Fighter Heavyweight ranking at the time of the fight with Emelianenko: Ranking sources used: Sherdog, Fight Matrix and SB Nation (mmafighting).
    • Antonio Silva: #10 Sherdog, #11 Fight Matrix, #10 SB Nation.
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  176. ^ Episcopal Choir of the Nizhny Novgorod Diocese (Архиерейский хор Нижегородской епархии) (formed 2003), album released in 2006. The song is on the bonus track, nr. 20.[1]
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    • (Feb 5, 2010), Fedor Emelianenko: MMA Legend/ Exemplary Christian, Yahoo! Voices, Retrieved May 18, 2014
    • (October 2009), King without a crown, "M-1’s vice president of fighter relations says, “He doesn’t want to speak English. He’s forced to. He has to.” When I ask if Fedor realizes how much that limits his drawing potential in the West, Echteld shrugs. “He doesn’t want to be a star,” he says.", Fight! Magazine, Retrieved May 20, 2014
    • (November 9, 2009), Fedor Emelianenko: A CBS Showcase of Family, Faith, and a Russian Fighter., "To the Russians who know him, Fedor is not a god of MMA, but a humble man of God. Neither Fedor nor his fellow Russians will put him above God. That is very wise of them. American MMA fans, or perhaps I should specify, UFC fans, make gods out of men whom they feel are unstoppable. To my knowledge, Fedor Emelianenko has never claimed to be a great or unstoppable man. He is devoutly Russian Orthodox.", Bleacher Report, Retrieved May 20, 2014
    • Exclusive Interview with Fedor Emelianenko, "Having spoken with Fedor, through all the fame and fan response, the man still remains humble and aware that he is simply human. He is aware that on any day he can lose a fight just as easily as the next man. I think the persona and presence which he brings to the sport is what catches the attention of the fans. We all connect with Fedor because he fights the fight and still points out his flaws and remains humble. ",, Retrieved May 20, 2014
    • (February 15, 2011), With Fedor out, Strikeforce tournament finds itself on the ropes, "I was at the hotel's lobby," said [BigFoot] Silva, "and I talked to him and asked him not to stop fighting because he still have many things to show to the fans and that people still wanted to see him on the cage. And, after that, the guy came and kissed my forehead. Get it? He's a wonderful guy, and everybody wants to see the best of all times in a good shape. He's all about being humble." ", Sports Illustrated, Retrieved May 20, 2014
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  180. ^ Kogan, Evgeni (9 April 2008). "Fedor Carries Olympic Torch in St. Petersburg". Sherdog. Retrieved 7 June 2009. 
  181. ^


See also

Author Title Year Publisher ISBN
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


Year Title Notes
2008 Affliction Clothing International
2009 Snickers South Korea
2011 Forward Sportswear Russia
2012 Mercedes-Benz Russia


Year Title Role
2003 PrideGP Grand Prix 2003 Playable Character
2010 EA Sports MMA Playable Character
Cover Athlete

Video games

Year Title Role Notes
2006 무한도전 (Infinite Challenge) Himself Guest
Season 04; Episode 18 & 19: "Wrestling Challenges Parts 1 & 2"
2007 Human Weapon Himself Cameo
Season 01; Episode 11: "Sambo"
2008 Inside MMA Himself Guest interview with Bas Rutten
2008 놀라운 대회 스타킹 (Starking) Himself Guest
2009 Sports Science Himself Guest
Season 02; Episode 01: "Choked and Slammed"
2009 Inside MMA Himself Bazzie Award for KO Punch of the Year
2012 놀라운 대회 스타킹 (Starking) Himself Guest
Sambo exhibition with Chan Sung Jung
2012 クイズ☆タレント名鑑 (Talent Directory Quiz) Himself Contestant
Ultimate Sumo Championship 2012
2013 世界行ってみたらホントはこんなトコだった!? Himself Cameo
Season 03; Episode 04: "Russia"
2013 ジャイアントキリング (Giant Killing) Himself Contestant
Sportsmen Arm-Wrestling World Finals
2014 The Voice Versus Himself Guest
Season 05; Episode 04: "The Voice Versus: Fedor"


Year Title Role Notes
2009 Fedor: The Baddest Man on the Planet Himself Documentary Biography
2009 CNBC Originals: Ultimate Fighting: Fistful of Dollars Himself Archive footage
2010 The 5th Execution Fedor
2011 New York Mixed Martial Arts Himself Cameo



In May 2014 Emelianenko linked the new government of Ukraine that came to power after the Euromaidan-protests to "fascists" and expressed his approval with the March 2014 annexation of Crimea by Russia.[181]

Emelianenko was one of 80 Russian sporting champions, cultural icons and national heroes to carry the Olympic torch in St. Petersburg in 2008.[180]

Fedor trains with his youngest brother Ivan, who has competed in Combat Sambo and plans to begin a career in MMA in 2010.[29]

In Fighter’s Only Magazine, a sports psychologist had been quoted saying, "The best when it comes to the stare down is Fedor Emelianenko. Watch him: he does not make eye contact and his entire expression is extremely relaxed - you would think he is about to perform a ballet or something. But here is the crucial thing. When the referee tells them to head back to their corners, Fedor suddenly darts a short look directly at his opponent - or through his opponent, I should say. This kind of look is associated with antisocial behavioral disorders and psychopaths. They don't look at you, they look through you. It's emotionless; it goes deeper than skin level. You will get a lot of fighters who will catch that look and suddenly realize they don't want to be there. Wanderlei Silva has a stare-down that makes you think 'this is gonna hurt', but Fedor's makes you think, I might die'."[179]

Emelianenko has stated his driving force for winning fights was: "Years ago we hardly had anything to eat. Now I earn more money and I see every opponent as a man that tries to put me back to that poorer period. That man has to be eliminated." and about his state of mind before a fight: "When I walk into a fight, I'm trying not to think about anything; collect myself and concentrate. And going into a fight, I don't feel any emotions, neither anger nor compassion. I don't emotionalize. I'm going into a fight with a clear mind...During the fight , my senses dim and basically I don't feel any pain." [178]

According to many people who have had close contact with Emelianenko, he is a humble man.[177]

In 1999, two years after his army service, he married Oksana, whom he had known since school,[30] and their daughter Masha was born in the same year.[28] They divorced in 2006.[5] On 29 December 2007, his second daughter, Vasilisa, was born to his long-time girlfriend Marina.[171][172] Emelianenko and Marina married in October 2009.[173] In his spare time, he likes to read, listen to music, and draw.[174] in July 2011 their second daughter Elizaveta was born.[30] He is a practicing Orthodox Christian and a parishioner at the church of St. Nicholas in Stary Oskol.[175] 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.[176]

Personal life

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.[25][169][170]

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.[168]

Political career

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

Entrance music

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 2–0 Gegard Mousasi Submission (armbar) M-1 Global: Breakthrough August 29, 2009 1 3:27 Kansas City, Missouri, United States Openweight bout.
Win 1–0 Shinya Aoki Submission (achilles lock) M-1 Challenge 14: Japan April 29, 2009 1 2:53 Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan Openweight bout.

Mixed martial arts exhibition record

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

Mixed martial arts record

Championships and accomplishments

Although Emelianenko is retired as a competitor, he remained president of the Russian MMA Union.[24] Emelianenko's impact and legacy in mixed martial arts has been compared to the likes of Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali, Wayne Gretzky, Pele and Babe Ruth, and their stature in their respective sports.[21]

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] Prior to the bout, it was rumored that Fedor would retire.[114] Originally denying retirement rumors, Emelianenko made his announcement post-fight after defeating Rizzo by knockout in the first two minutes of the first round.[115][116]

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]

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.

Emelianenko with Vladimir Putin in March 2012

Return to Russia, Japan and retirement

On October 7, 2011 Emelianenko stated “Yes, I’ve lost my last fights, but every time there were definite reasons for that. Some changes in my family took place at that time and they affected my performance. Certainly, there were mistakes in my preparations. Naturally, I was strained analyzing my fights,”.[109] Four days later, Emelianenko continued on the subject: “In the three bouts I lost, I felt like I could've won. But the win somehow eluded me. I felt I could do it. I had chances, but God's will was different,” [110]

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."[106] 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."[107] 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.[108]

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."[105]

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.[103] 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.[104]

Emelianenko stated through a translator on The MMA Hour that he considered retirement before the Werdum fight due to accumulating injuries and ageing.[102]

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.[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 at the time.[100] 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.

Following the failed negotiations with the UFC, Emelianenko signed a three-fight contract with Strikeforce.[97] Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker confirmed that Emelianenko's debut would take place on 7 November, broadcast nationally on CBS.[98][99]

Emelianenko training with a hammer in 2009


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.[95][96] However, White stated that Emelianenko was firmly retired.[95]

After the collapse of Affliction, UFC President Dana White tried repeatedly to sign Emelianenko to an exclusive UFC contract.[91] White said of Emelianenko; "He has become my obsession. I want it (him in the UFC) worse than the fans want it."[92] 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".[93] 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,[94] negotiations fell apart after Emelianenko's management team demanded a co-promotion between UFC and M-1 Global, terms which White deemed unacceptable.[93][94]

Negotiations with the UFC

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.[87][88] On 23 July 2009, Vitor Belfort – who was already on the card – was reported as a likely replacement,[89] but the next day Affliction canceled the event citing limited time to find a suitable replacement and inadequate time to promote the fight.[90]

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.[85] 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.[86]

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[81] Arlovski had some early success in the fight, landing punches and kicks.[82] 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.[82] 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".[83][84]

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.

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."[80]

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."[79]

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 prior to his fight with Emelianenko.[78]



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