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FEDOR EMELIANENKO

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Fedor Vladimirovich[8] Emelianenko (IPA: ['fʲodər jemilʲja'nʲenkə], Russian: Ф�дор Владимирович Емельяненко, sometimes romanized as Fyodor Yemelyanenko) (born September 28, 1976) is a Russian heavyweight mixed martial artist and the last person to hold the PRIDE heavyweight championship. On July 19, 2008, he defeated Tim Sylvia to become the first ever W.A.M.M.A. heavyweight champion.

Emelianenko has been considered the best heavyweight fighter in the world for the last five years by many major publications, including ESPN, the Orange County Register, The Fight Network, the Houston Chronicle, The Wrestling Observer, and Inside MMA. In addition to holding notable individual wins over K-1 Super heavyweight champion Semmy Schilt, former PRIDE and current UFC champion Ant�nio Rodrigo Nogueira (twice), Pride 2005 Open weight champion Mirko Filipović, former UFC Heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia, and Mark Hunt, he has won numerous 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 championships. His sole loss, via doctor stoppage due to a cut via an illegal blow, is considered a mere technicality, which he decisively avenged.

Biography

Fedor Emelianenko was born in 1976 in the Rubezhnoe town in Luhansk region, presently a part of Ukraine (part of the Soviet Union at the time). Fedor's family moved to Stary Oskol, Russia in 1978. His mother, Olga Feodorovna, is a teacher. His father, Vladimir Alexandrovich, is a gas-electric welder. Fedor is the second child in the family and has an older sister, Marina, and two younger brothers, Aleksander (born 1981) and Ivan (born 1988). Aleksander is also an MMA fighter in PRIDE, and Ivan is currently in training.

Fedor finished high school in 1991 and graduated with honors from a professional trade school in 1994. In 1999 he married his wife, Oksana, who had their first daughter, Masha, in the same year. In his spare time, Fedor has stated he likes the sun and going to the beach. He has stated he likes art and some of his paintings can be viewed on his official website. He has also said he has a pet turtle and likes cats and dogs but stated he lacks time for pets and prefers spending time with his daughter

Martial arts background & training regimen

Emelianenko's enthusiasm for fighting began with Sambo and Judo. He initially trained under Vasiliy Ivanovich Gavrilov, and later under his current coach, Vladimir Mihailovich Voronov. Voronov remembers that ten-year-old Fedor was relatively weak physically and did not have an innate grappling talent; instead, Fedor's biggest strength was his perseverance and strong will.

From 1995 until 1997, Emelianenko served in the Russian Army. His official biography erroneously states that he trained in Sambo during his army years. However, Fedor has specified in his 2005 Amsterdam interview that this is incorrect, and his training in the army was limited to running and strength training in a makeshift gym he put together himself.

In 1997, Emelianenko received the official certification of a "Master of Sports" in Sambo and Judo. Fedor earned a bronze medal in the 1998 Russian Judo Championship. In 2000, he started studying striking with arms and legs under coach Alexander Vasilievich Michkov. Fedor started competing in combat sambo and mixed martial arts in 2000, because he "didn't have any money".

Fedor used to weight train extensively, but in 1999 he almost completely substituted his weight exercises with sport-specific training in grappling, boxing and kick-boxing. His strength training consists of daily pull-ups, push ups on parallel bars, and crunches. Emelianenko also runs 12-15 kilometers (7.5 - 9.3 miles) every day. Fedor is a proponent of high altitude training, and he travels to Kislovodsk, Russia with his team once or twice a year to train in high altitude.

Fedor's team consists of coach Voronov (grappling), coach Michkov (boxing), coach Ruslan Nagnibeda (Muay Thai), and his training partners: Roman Zentsov, another PRIDE fighter, and, until June 2006, Fedor's brother, Aleksander Emelianenko.

In 2005 Emelianenko started paying special attention to improving his kicking technique. He trained Muay Thai with kickboxer Ernesto Hoost in Netherlands,[8] and added a Muay Thai coach, Ruslan Nagnibeda, �Seikin-do� league 78 kg title holder from 1998 to 2002 (33-3-1) to his team.

RINGS

Fedor's only loss in MMA came at the hands of Tsuyoshi Kohsaka at the King of Kings 2000 Block B event on December 22, 2000, via a TKO (doctor stoppage due to a cut) 17 seconds into the fight. The cut was caused by an elbow strike, illegal under RINGS rules unless the striker is wearing elbow pads. [citation needed] Since the fight was in a tournament format, a winner and loser was required (no draws and no no-contests). He avenged the loss at the PRIDE Bushido 6 event on April 3, 2005, defeating Kohsaka by TKO due to doctor stoppage after the first round.

Pride Fighting Championships

Fedor's PRIDE debut was against 6'11, 256 lbs (211 cm, 116 kg) Dutch karate black belt Semmy Schilt, whom he defeated by unanimous decision. His next opponent was heavyweight Heath Herring. Fedor defeated Herring by doctor stoppage after the first round.

Fedor was then signed to fight
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira for PRIDE's heavyweight championship title. After three rounds, the judges rendered a unanimous decision, and Emelianenko became the second PRIDE Heavyweight Champion.

Three months later Emelianenko embarked on his title reign. His first match was against the 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 wild right hook that stunned him�Emelianenko has claimed this is the only time he has ever been knocked down. After working his way to a clinch, Emelianenko knocked Fujita down and went on to submit him at 4:17 in the first round with a rear naked choke.

Next came a one-sided bout against heavy underdog Gary "Big Daddy" Goodridge at Total Elimination 2003. Emelianenko took down Goodridge after wobbling him with standing combinations, then finished him with a ground and pound technique in the first round by referee stoppage after delivering unanswered punches and kicks to the head. Emelianenko broke his hand in this fight, resulting in surgery. He has since reinjured this hand, leading to the postponement of several bouts.

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 being offered a higher fight purse because of the great deal of competition between the Japanese television networks screening these events and K-1 Premium Dynamite!! on the same night.

Four months later at Total Elimination 2004, he met PRIDE 2000 Grand Prix winner and former UFC heavyweight champion Mark Coleman for the first time in the ring and submitted him with an armbar at 2:11 of the first round to advance in the 2004 heavyweight Grand Prix. Emelianenko has indicated his respect for Coleman, who popularized the ground and pound technique that has become his trademark.

A notable match with Coleman�s prot�g� 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, quickly worked into a clinch with Emelianenko and then delivered a suplex, slamming him to the canvas headfirst. Emelianenko recovered immediately and forced Randleman to submit with a kimura armlock 1:33 into the first round.

On 15 August 2004, Emelianenko faced six-time All-Japan Judo Champion Naoya Ogawa in the semifinals of the 2004 Grand Prix. After submitting Ogawa with an armbar, he advanced to face Ant�nio Rodrigo Nogueira, who 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 this rematch with Nogueira, the fight was stopped due to a cut to Emelianenko's head from an accidental headbutt he delivered to Nogueira. A third meeting was thus scheduled for Shockwave 2004, which Emelianenko won. Emelianenko overpowered the Brazilian on the feet in the first round, beating him to the punch for the first nine minutes of the first round. Nogueira faced great difficulty in attempting to put his opponent on his back, save for the final 30 seconds of the first round. During the second and third rounds, Emelianenko's takedown defense and counter-punching earned him a unanimous decision victory to retain the heavyweight championship.

In other notable bouts, Emelianenko won a unanimous decision over former K-1 star Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipović, a bout he calls his toughest to date. The fight had been delayed previously due to Emelianenko's hand injuries and Filipović's loss to Kevin Randleman derailing their expected meeting in the 2004 Grand Prix. Emelianenko managed to outscore Filipović in stand up fighting, landing many hard body shots, and controlled the bout on the ground. He has later stated that his hand injury took away his grip strength and so prevented him from trying submissions.

Although originally endangered due to Emelianenko's recurring hand injury, a plate inserted in his hand green-lighted a rematch with American Mark Coleman in PRIDE's American debut show. In a fight where Coleman was unable to mount any significant offense, Emelianenko defeated Coleman with an armbar at 1:15 in the second round.

Emelianenko's most recent title defense was against 2001 K-1 World Grand Prix champion Mark Hunt at Shockwave 2006. 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. At five minutes into the first round, Hunt made two attempts at an americana on Emelianenko�s left arm but failed to complete them. Emelianenko submitted Hunt with a kimura at 8:16 in the first round.

Bodog Fight

With a special clause in his PRIDE contract that allowed him to fight under the banner of any mixed martial arts 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 April 14, 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 218 lb to Emelianenko's 233 lb.

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 of working in the clinch, Lindland attempted a bodylock takedown. When Lindland lifted Emelianenko from his feet, Emelianenko reached for and made contact with the top rope; whether he grabbed it or only touched it remains a subject of disagreement. After Emelianenko reversed Lindland's takedown and landed in his half guard, the fight remained on the ground where Emelianenko won by submission via armbar at 2:58 of the first round.

Negotiations with UFC and M-1 Global

Since the purchase of PRIDE by the majority owners of UFC and the expiration of Emelianenko's contract with PRIDE, there has been speculation about the possibility of him fighting in the UFC, especially since a public falling out between Bodog's Calvin Ayre and Emelianenko's manager, Vadim Finklestein. In a June 2007 interview with the Baltimore Sun, Chuck Liddell suggested that Emelianenko was on his way to the UFC. Dana White has also expressed interest in signing Emelianenko, but considers his management team to be the primary barrier left to the inking of a contract, whereas Finklestein has cited difficult negotiations as the reason. A main point of contention between the two is 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. 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 was to compete in a Sambo competition that White would not allow him to participate in if he were under a UFC contract. He also revealed his intent to set up a unification bout with UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture as his first UFC fight. Nevertheless, these negotiations broke down, as Emelianenko committed to a non-exclusive, two-year and six-fight deal with M-1 Global in October 2007.

M-1 Global

Monte Cox, the president and CEO of M-1 Global, 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 the former PRIDE FC staff with support from M-1 Global, FEG, and DEEP. The fight was broadcasted live in the United States on Mark Cuban's HDNet. Emelianenko defeated Choi in the opening round by submission via an armbar.

Dream

On February 13, 2008, Emelianenko attended a press conference held by Dream, a newly-formed Japanese mixed martial arts promotion. His manager, Finkelstein, confirmed that the organization had a tightly knit alliance with M-1 Global and that he would be fighting on the new organization's fight cards.

Affliction

At Affliction's inaugural event, promoted as Affliction: Banned, Emelianenko defeated former two-time Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia via submission at 36 seconds in the first round.

In his next fight with Affliction, Emelianenko defeated former UFC Heavyweight Champion Andrei Arlovski at Affliction: Day of Reckoning on January 24, 2009. In the fight, Arlovski had some success early landing punches and leg kicks, but was eventually knocked out by Emelianenko when he countered a flying knee attempt with an overhand right, knocking out Arlovski at 3:14 of the first round.

Sambo

On November 16, 2008, Fedor's first loss in Sambo in eight years came at the Combat Sambo World Championships St. Petersburg, Russia, where he fell in the semifinals of the over 220-pound division to 23-year old Bulgarian Blagoi Ivanov on points 8 to 5. Fedor finished the tournament in 3rd place.

- From wikipedia.org

Official Website: www.fedor.bel.ru

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