With a cross around his neck and a song by Bishop Nikolaj Velimirović in the background, he retires Fedor Emelianenko (46). In the fight against the American Ryana Badera (39) has a chance to walk away as Bellator champion and get revenge for his loss in 2019.
“Early tomorrow morning, the last PRIDE great and champion, Fedor Emelianenko, will leave the fighting scene after his last fight! For me, the greatest and most complete MMA fighter of all time! It was a pleasure and a privilege to share the ring with him once, as well as to share the same ring many times locker room at Saitama Arena. Regardless of the outcome of tomorrow’s match, to me and many others, you will forever remain a wrestling icon and the GOAT. Good luck, Fyodor,” wrote Cro Cop.
The two fought for the PRIDE title in 2005 in Saitama. The Russian won on points, and the match was called the best of that decade.
The prototype of the perfect fighter
According to many, Fedor Emelianenko is the best MMA fighter of all time. He reigned supreme in PRIDE and destroyed opponents with unprecedented ease. A master of Russian samba and judo, he was equally good in the ‘stand’ and on the floor.
Incredibly explosive and ready, K-1 and MMA legends Herring, Schilt, Fujita, Goodridge, Coleman, Randleman, Minotauro, Cro Cop, Hunt…
‘Putin is exceptional’
No one managed to get him for nine whole years, in a sport where one punch ends everything, this is an incredible achievement because in those nine years, the Russian had as many as 28 fights without defeat.
For some time he was out of the MMA world, he also tried his hand at politics, he is especially close to Russian President Vladimir Putin (70).
– He is an exceptional president, but also a man, an athlete, a judo master. I never got into a clinch with him, though. He came to my matches and it was an honor for me – Fyodor said in one of the interviews.
I was being questioned by the FBI
Former US President Donald Trump (76) also likes him.
About 15 years ago, the organization ‘Affliction Entertainment’ was founded, which was supposed to rival the UFC and hold pay-per-view fights. Donald Trump had a large part in the company, and the first big name they brought in was Fedor Emelianenko.
The CEO of ‘Affliction Entertainment’ was Michael Cohen, Trump’s lawyer who had problems with the FBI. The Russian confirmed that he was questioned by the FBI before the fight against Frank Mir and turned everything into a joke.
– They didn’t ask me if I was a spy, haha.
The last fights that Fedor did after returning to MMA after a long absence did not give the impression of being the old one. On the contrary, he looked as if time had overtaken him.
It was hard to judge anything after a fight against a relatively unknown Singh in 2015. But a year after that, a win against Fabio Maldonado showed a lot. Yes, he got a fight, but also a heavy beating.
Behind me is an army of Russians, Serbs and Greeks
A Russian was in the neighborhood a few years ago, he visited Belgrade.
– Serbia is a country that I will always be happy to come to. Our peoples are extremely close, fraternal. I manage to find spiritual peace in Serbia. I intend to go to the grave of Patriarch Pavle and Prince Lazar – said Fedor when he promoted the MMA tournament in Belgrade.
He became especially close to the hearts of the Serbs after he chose the song of Bishop Nikolaj Velimirović as the opening song before the battle: ‘Vera večna, vera slavna’. He was in Belgrade, but before that he learned to swear in Croatian.
He learned that in the company of former UFC champion Fabrici Werdum (45), a good friend of Mirko Filipović (48). Cro Cop taught Werdum the basics, who passed it on to Fedor at the Strikerforce Grand Prix in New Jersey.
Werdum, Fjodor and Antonio Silva somehow squeezed into the elevator, and Werdum broke the awkward silence by saying:
– Good morning, good afternoon, good night, j…m you mater.
Since then, Fedor knows how to swear in Croatian…
Born in Ukraine
He was born on September 28, 1976 in Luhansk, Ukraine, near the border with Russia. He had a difficult childhood, he admitted that sometimes he had nothing to eat.
– When I started making money fighting, I saw every opponent as a man who was trying to bring me back to that period when I used to be hungry – Fedor explained.
His training is studied in the West.
Fedor was a champion in several martial arts, the best was in Russian Sambo, in which he was a multiple Russian, four-time world and European champion. He also trained wrestling and judo.
Father Vladimir was an electrician, mother a teacher. He has an older sister, Marina, and two younger brothers, Aleksander, who is also an MMA fighter, and Ivan.
He joined the Russian army in 1995, a year after graduating from trade school. He was a fireman in the army.