Fedor Emelianenko: Vladimir Putin Thanks Him for Promoting MMA in Russia
Following Fedor Emelianenko’s 84-second demolition of Pedro Rizzo, none other than Russian President Vladimir Putin stepped into the St. Petersburg ring and personally bestowed praise upon “The Last Emperor” for his contribution to and promotion of MMA in Russia.
“I want to congratulate Fedor and thank him from all of us, martial arts fans. It is because of him this sport became so popular in our country,” the Russian premier said.
The 35-year-old former Pride heavyweight champion, who called time on his storied career after blitzing erstwhile UFC resident Rizzo, leaves the MMA stage 3-0 in as many outings.
Prior to the aforesaid victories, Fedor had suffered a spate of ignominious defeats—to Fabricio Werdum, Antonio Silva and Dan Henderson–in the San Jose-based promotion Strikeforce.
Before heading to the now Zuffa-acquired SF, Fedor was undefeated for nigh on 10-years and was riding a 27-fight win streak, to boot.
At his peak, Fedor (34-4-1 MMA, 1-3 SF) held sway over the heavyweight stratosphere and defeated the upper-echelon contemporaries.
Some of those who fell to the Sambo Grand Master included the likes of former UFC heavyweight titlists Mark Coleman (twice) Tim Sylvia, Andrei Arlovski and Kevin Randleman.
Also on his hit list were interim UFC and Pride heavyweight champion Antonio “Minotauro” Nogueira (twice) and Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic.
To most MMA purists, the accomplished Judoka will go down in the annals of history as one of the best—if not the greatest—heavyweight champions to have ever laced up a pair of grappling gloves.
The once-baddest man on the planet cited the need to spend time with his family and no enticing offers as the reasons he’s decided to hang ‘em up.
At one time he was the UFC’s most sought-after fighters, but due to negotiations breaking down between the head honchos of the aforementioned organization and his own promotion M-I Global, his fighting career slowed considerably.
However, if Fedor does decide to come out of retirement, it’ll most likely be for a stint in the world’s best MMA promotion.
But before that can transpire, UFC president Dana White and M-I Global supremo Vadim Finkelstein will have to iron out their differences.
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