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Fedor says he’ll return by New Year’s Eve; rematch with Cro Cop unlikely

Sports Illustrated was able to catch up with Fedor Emelianenko and get some comments on him in regards to when he thinks he’ll be able to step back into the ring as well as his future fight plans:

“I think definitely by New Year’s Eve I’ll be ready to go,” the 31-year-old Russian told SI.com Sunday.

“My desire at this point is to meet with the winner of the fight,” said Emelianenko, the only current WAMMA champ. “But I still have a desire to fight with whomever loses as well.

But it doesn’t look like Fedor’s return to the ring will come against the winner of the aforementioned fight between Andrei Arlovski and Josh Barnett. It looks like it will come against an opponent to be determined on a New Year’s Eve show in Japan and that opponent doesn’t look to be Mirko Cro Cop:

Early speculation centered on a rematch of Emelianenko’s tremendous points win in 2005 over Mirko Filipovic. However, a representative for the No. 1-ranked heavyweight said it’s doubtful the fight would take place at this time. In a bout intended for Japanese fight fans, Emelianenko will likely meet a “judo legend or sumo wrestler.”

It would appear that Fedor will fight in another freakshow fight before he steps back into the ring against a legitimate opponent. “Judo legend or sumo wrestler” does not sound like a true challenge for the heavyweight king and is most likely a match that will be put together to appease the Japanese fans on New Year’s Eve. Let’s just hope that after he mauls whatever giant or washed up judoka they put in there with him that he gets back to fighting the top caliber heavyweights in Affliction.

38 COMMENTS
  • Warcry says:

    So this is what we have to deal with from Fedor. A tomato can fight before he faces somebody legit. Can’t say I’m surprised. I guess he’ll return to Affliction just before the promotion goes under. He will be their savior. His time of fighting one-dimensional fighters is coming to a close. I think he knows the writting is on the wall.

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  • Dan says:

    I’m disappointed. He’s still the best HW ever, but there’s no reason for him to fight a can at this stage of his career.

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  • The Dude says:

    Some of you Fans are retarded! The Japanese MMA fans love their freakshow fights. On New Years they break records with these fights. Now if you put on a Fedor vs Arlovski or even Barnett you would not get anywhere near the viewers.
    Fedor is doing this for the fans in Japan (and the money)

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  • sprewell says:

    look, idiots:

    Fedor fights to get PAID. On NYE, in Japan, he is slated to make 2 million dollars against a famous opponent to draw RATINGS. he can have an easy fight, make a TON of cash, not get hurt, and move on to his next fight. Japan is about drawing numbers, not your fantasy of PURE SPORT. a fight against Yoshida or Akiyama would do an astronomical number, and Fedor would not be risking injury and a future payday.

    learn about the industry some before you embarrass yourself again.

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  • Ryan says:

    A little disappointing that he probably won’t fight the winner of the Andrei Arlovski and Josh Barnett fight. Why would they put him in with a nobody, just to sell seats? They should have him fight both fighters back to back, now that would be worth watching.

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  • Ryan says:

    I understand this is a business, but he is at a point in his career where he should want to fight the best. Either way he is going to get paid and people are going to watch I guess.

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  • romano says:

    The japanese fight game is different from the american fight game….plain and simple…and at least when fedor fights cans he wins….anderson silva has three losses to fighters that mma fans consider cans, st. pierre lost to a can, miguel torres lost to a can, sakuraba lost to a can, kj noons lost to a can…and the list goes on and on…not every fight can be a purist’s delight, but what seperates the greats from each other is the ability to focus regardless of the perceived abilities of their opponents

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  • OWGrandPrix2008 says:

    St Pierre lost too Matt Serra who won an ultimate fighter tourney (not a can). Fedor would make the same money in Japan if he rematch’s Cro-Cop or Zulu or if he fights Arlovski or Barnett. Fedor is the show, the opponent is irrelevant, so why not challenge yourself instead of starting the next three year run of fighting no-namers and middleweights. I definitely believe Fedor is hands down the best heavyweight but I do question is competitive drive to prove it. If Japanese people want to see freak shows then why not have your freak show in the undercard, hell have two of them but why not make the main event a legitimate competition where there is real drama and not fictional drama or a a pro-wrestling-esqe side-show circus act?

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  • sprewell says:

    wow, you just have no idea, do you?

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  • skwirrl says:

    I’m with Sprewell – The rest of you that can’t figure this out are dimwits. Do you know what the highest rated event was in Japan? It was fucking Akebono vs Bob Sapp. IT ISNT ABOUT SPORT YOU IDIOTS ITS ABOUT RATINGS. If Fedor goes over to Japan to put on a show for the fans and earn some easy cash it shouldnt matter who he is fighting, because the Japanese promotion will be doing enormous numbers. Also it will give his hand more time to heal properly anyways.

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  • Billy says:

    I’m glad I’ve seen what I have in the comments section. I thought I’d see a lot more whining. There’s a bit, but look at the grammatical skills of those doing it, and compare it with those who’ve had proper input.

    I’m really getting tired of people complaining about stuff like this. They have no grasp of how the real world works. Fedor fights legit competition when he’s signed. He also fights people for money. This sport as it exists in North America has ALWAYS been about the money, from UFC 1 and on. Anybody who wants to deny that is retarded. Fedor doesn’t give a fuck whether YOU think he’s #1 or not. He’s done enough to prove himself over time, and he just fought Sylvia so he’s not done yet. Give the guy a fucking break, he doesn’t have to consistently fight the best, NOBODY does.

    He’s P4P #1 in the world and should remain there until he retires. Nobody has a record that comes close to his. He may have fought a few cans along the way, but go ahead, take 5-6 of those wins off his record. Do it. Come on, you can do the math…
    Still pretty good, hey?

    I thought so. Grow up.

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  • Matteo says:

    I hope at the very least they dont put him up against Akiyama… The Japanese want that poor Koreans blood.

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  • stevefiji says:

    If Fedor is a free agent I say, go fight the BS fighters for big paydays because that’s primarily what he has done for more than 3 years… Sylvia aside… Us idiots who want to see the guys step us consistently, we just don’t get it???? Get what? That GSP, Penn, Sylvia, et al make a stand to fight the best, time and time again, instead of fighting 80% creme puff donuts in their last 5 fights. People who have to resort to calling others retarded, idiots, etc just because they want to see a long time hero/fav of theirs actually step up for more than one fight in a row and challenge himself and cement his legacy to me are the one’s who have no sense of value.

    When Fedor was a kid, do you think he wanted to fight to be rich? He wanted to fight to fight! The money is a byproduct. I am not saying that its not good to make some large scratch, but Fedor fans watched him waste 3 prime years of his career on DONUTS!

    Ted Williams served his country for 3 years in the prime of his career in the military service. He career statistics would have been second only to Babe Ruth had he had these 3 years to play. He did NOT have to serve, but he did because it was the right thing to do. I am not telling anyone that Fedor has to fight great fighters, or that it’s the right thing do. But seemingly every other champion we have seems to have a different perspective. hell, even Rebel Randy only wants to fight the best or he’d have just done the 2 fights for the UFC and be free now anyway.

    Fedor has horrible management, has lost 3 years of fame in the USA and all that endorsement potential that would have dwarfed the money he made fighting all those donuts. If he is fighting for the money, then its a bad decision, if he is running 80% of the time, then its a bad decision, if he is trying to enhance his legacy, then its a bad decision. But we are idiots, retards and likewise… No gentlemen, we just fans who like to see the best fight the best. No shame or idiocy in that.

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  • Dumbshitdouchebag says:

    he still fights there because the japanse fans love him and he loves him… thats because the japanse audiance doesnt boo all the time and dont scream usa usa all the time. i rather see Fedor fight in Japan against your so called ‘cans’ (yall probably never fought in a ring or cage in your life did you???). Face it guys you americans DONT have the best fighters… talking shit bout a real fighter (Fedor) but stik your heads in fake fighters asses (cock lesnar and them jokers)

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  • sprewell says:

    Fedor has horrible management, yet he makes 1.3 million a fight. riiiiiight.

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  • jdavis says:

    How much money and ratings are left to get in Japan? MMA isn’t doing the same numbers it was doing three or four years ago, yea obviously fighting in Japan is for the money but just how much more are they going to pay him than Affliction shelled out for him to fight Tim Sylvia (no one honestly believes he just made $300k for that fight do they)? You also have to look at the fact that if Fedor fights in Japan in December it will be at least another three or so months after that at least before he gets back to Affliction(if Affliction is still around next March).

    Everyone knows why he’s fighting in Japan, there is no reason to get rude or call people names but good grief it could be 8 or more months before we get to see Fedor fight another quality opponent(provided Affliction even survives that long)of course hardcore MMA fans aren’t going to be too happy with that news. I imagine that Affliction isn’t either.

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  • TheSomberlain says:

    Brilliant point Sprewell, harsh but very true. Fucking Dana White man, I want Fedor vs. Couture already.

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  • JJ Docker says:

    I understand the Japanese fans affection for him, I understand his for them,

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  • dpk says:

    This is the exact reason why UFC signs it’s fighters to exclusive contracts. Dana White doesn’t want his champions fighting and being associated with freak shows, and I personally agree with that philosophy. Who can complain about Fedor making easy money, that is his choice. I do agree with the poster above that if Fedor’s management had pushed him to come to the United States in UFC he would be a hugh mega star with Zuffa’s marketing machine behind him. People always love the “baddest man on the planet.”

    Also I’m just going to factor this into my thinking next time the PFP argument comes up.

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  • JJ Docker says:

    I understand the Japanese fans affection for him, I understand his for them, I understand if Fedor doesn’t like fighting in the US, I understand the attraction and ratings of freak show fights, I understand the sick money Fedor makes from these fights and I understand that the risk/reward ratio for these fights is massively high in favour of reward compared to alternative options.
    But what several commentors on this piece need to understand is that hardcore fans want and need Fedor to fight real competition. He is possibly the greatest MMA fighter of all time. He could be unbeatable. The amazing thing is that Fedor is or could be just reaching his prime now but this can never be fully realised with his pattern of opponents at the moment. It’s not as if theres no legit contenders out there worthy of challenging him; Couture, Barnett, Arlovski and hell maybe even Lesnar in a years time. I just wish Fedor would dedicate himself to proving that he is the best MMA fighter of all time. And to do this, he has to fight and beat other heavyweight contenders in the world when they are good enough to challenge him, not just when he is ready to fight them.

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  • stevefiji says:

    Fedor’s management has NOTHING to do with the fact that he makes $1.3 million… unless you want to say that they cost him money because he should be fighting for much more by now. Fedor’s fists have everything to do with it.

    First of all, Fedor in all likelihood made $1.6+ million, you see we idiots, retards and dimwits do occasionally read the blogs. But to my real point, if Tim Sylvia as a barely Top 5 guys makes 800K on the same fight when he has lost nearly as many as he won since earning his first UFC title (W-8, L-6) in 2003 and even one of those wins he was stripped of for steroids, so it’s actually (W7 L-6)….well, if he earned 800K, then what would a theoretically undefeated Fedor be worth at this point.

    Sprewell, is a master of the stating the obvious and twisting it suit his shallow point and backing up his totally ethereal assertions with insults. Since Fedor fought CroCop in Aug 2005 he has only fought fringe talent while being widely considered the #1 HW in the world and a Top 2 or 3 P4P. Sylvia was his only ranked opponent (#5 or worse) and Fedor has fought only 6 times. If Fedor were to have fought the top guys, and highly likely destroyed them all, he would have maybe been paid less, but not too much, and he would have earned many multiples more in endorsements, and RIGHT NOW he’d be in a position to capitalize and leverage himself with either Affliction or the UFC for many times more than he is asking now. This has left him with a sadly weakened legacy and far less cash flow. In two words… bad management.

    And for the Dana haters… (which i am not) you could have had your day if Fedor cakewalked through the UFC and THEN bolted for Affliction, but right now, Dana rules the roost and Fedor is fighting donuts in Japan for his big time scratch. But Dana haters can continue to blindly defend Fedor and call out Dana on this fight not happening. That is inane. You defend Fedor for making 2 mil while you paste Dana for making 250mil and wielding all the leverage…. Let Fedor tell his management to screw and then go into the UFC and take it down from within if he has issues…. beat them all in 2 years and then leave and take up with a rival. He will make just as much money (actually much more) and his legacy is secured… or Fedor can fights New Year’s Eve donuts for paychecks and proclaim undying devotion to Sambo as a pathetic excuse and Sprewell and his like can back him up on the blogs with hollow insults and pretzel logic.

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  • Damo says:

    There is really no need to start calling everyone who disagrees with your opinion, or heaven forbid, has an opinion of their own – an idiot.

    What you’ll find is that some people completely disregard the business side of MMA and instead turn their attention to the fact that we are dealing with a sport here. The organisations and the fans have fought since the beginning to try and make it more acceptable to the mainstream, and to see it legitimised as a true sport based on its own merits.

    Put the business aspect aside for a moment, forget the ratings, forget the pay day. Think of the sport.

    Do you really blame people for wanting to see Fedor fight legitimate contenders to his #1 status? Do you really see it as such a bad thing that people would have their noses out of joint because he’s off to fight another freakshow in Japan? Can you truly not appreciate a fans opinion if you see a 31 year old legend of our sport wasting a night of his career when lets face it.. in the time frame between now, his NYE fight, and the ‘real’ fight that will come afterwards (In what, Mar-Apr-May?) so much more could be achieved to solidify the legacy he can potentially leave on MMA?

    I can see your point of view, and of course the pay day is important to some. Especially as a professional.

    I just don’t want to see Fedor waste what is laid out in front of him to take. There are so many HW fights he can take that will make his legend grow to even crazier levels (if that is even possible) – and frankly, another 12ft giant with a glass jaw just doesn’t do it for me.

    I truly think that one single, awe inspiring, terminator like legend is a great thing for MMA. It’s great for any sport.

    Fuck wasting a fight. Get in there with some legitimacy.

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  • Derek B says:

    he’s not wasting a fight. He’s doing something for his fans in Japan. He is also trying to make money in his profession. I don’t see anything wrong with it. It’s just something they like to do in Japan and he has a huge following in Japan. He has to make his fans happy.

    You ever seen a original band play at a bar and someone says “can you play a cover for me” and then the original band plays the cover song? Well this is just like that.

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  • platypus says:

    im just glad fedor is fighting

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  • Jeff L says:

    You guys are hilarious. You Fedor super fans will give him a pass on anything. If GSP decided to not fight Penn and/or put the next welterweight defense on hold for several months so he could go fight Mr. T or Carrot Top or whoever for a dump truck of cash, you would discredit him FOR LIFE. Plain and simple. Champions should always be fighting the best…..unless it’s Fedor I guess. He is the WAMMA HW champion of the world, right? Oh, that’s right, that title is clownshoes anyway. Bring on the freakshow!

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  • OCD says:

    People in this thread have confused making money with credibility. Yes, Fedor can make a ton of money fighting a freak, as he has done in the past. Fine. However, that does nothing for his credibility as a fighter, and in fact is a risk for him, such that the chance someone gets in a lucky shot and takes him out.

    Fedor is not concerned with being the best fighter in the world, he’s concerned with making money. And that’s fine, but let’s not confuse the issue. Fedor decreases his credibility with every half-assed fight he takes.

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  • traingleman says:

    I agree with a little of everything on here including the fact that no matter how u slice it, this is a business!!! I don’t believe Fedor has too much of a choice in this fight! If u look on how much was paid out to the fighters in the last affliction event, the gate, and the PPV buys, they lost their shirts! (No pun intended) With the Japanese fans being the biggest draws to freak fights, see Bob Sapp, it is how they need to stay above water financially. They can stuff some money back in thei pockets by selling out the gate and huge ppv buys in Japan and so-so here in US, pay Fedor and set up a title fight for February cuz Fedor won’t break a sweat!
    Now to the real opionated fans talking smack! If Fedor continues to fight freaks in Japan and people like Tim Sylvia or Japanese fighters for the rest of his career he will not go down as best MMA fighter ever, not even close! Pride fighters that have come to UFC or Elite Xc with the obvious exception of Anderson Silva get their asses handed to them. See Cro-cop and James Thompson. I would love to see Fedor do what is right and that is make his money, but demand to fight the best! Why does Major League Baseball love to see the Red Sox and Yankees in the playoffs, because they sell out and people want to see the greatest two teams or franchises arguably ever. If u want to sell tickets and PPV’s put together fights that are competitive and mean something. See UFC shuffling BJ Penn and Spider Sylva. They are so dominating that they are moving them up in weight to make it interesting! Fedor walks around w a spare tire, if its that easy for him @ HW tell hime to drop 30 and fight @ LHW make it interesting!!!

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  • Suresh0t says:

    Fedor wants to keep his fans in Japan happy. He also has stated that he loves fighting in Japan’s New Years Eve events. Give the guy a break, he isn’t picking his opponents. I doubt the fight will be long enough to cause any sort of delay in a bout with the winner of Barnett/Arlovski.

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  • Suresh0t says:

    Also to the guy above, Pride fighters that are doing fine

    Dan Henderson will be fine, he’s only lost to A. Silva and Rampage (both Pride guys)
    Rampage
    A. Silva
    Gono
    Marcus Aurelio is doing ok, though he is past his prime
    Shogun last a lackluster match vs Forrest, expect him to be back to old soon
    Big Nog has the HW belt
    Herring is about the same as he was in Pride, not bad not great
    Wanderlei lost to Chuck and not by a lot, but he is fine
    Mirko was a disappointment, but he was past his prime imo

    If the UFC could manage to get their hands on Gomi, Aoki, Kawajiri, Alvarez, Kid Yamamoto(WEC), Fedor, Arona, Barnett, and a shit ton more fighters they somehow managed to not sign, then you could be a better judge.

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  • Derek B says:

    This is called business. MMA isn’t just fighting, it’s also entertainment. You can have the best fighers in the world, but if they aren’t able to entertain you…they aren’t worth as much as someone who is entertaining. It’s just how business goes.

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  • Ross says:

    “Some of you Fans are retarded!”
    “The rest of you that can’t figure this out are dimwits.”

    My bad, I was trying to get to 5 oz of pain where intelligent people discuss mma. I must of went to sherdog on accident.

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  • BadMonkey says:

    Jeff L. I gotta agree with you completely. Fedor gets more passes than anybody in the sport. Basically, what’s happening is that he fights for 36 seconds against Sylvia, beats him, and now we get to wait a good 8-10 months for him to maybe fight some serious competition.

    Like you said, if GSP, BJ, A. Silva, Chuck Liddell, et al. went off and fought some freakshow fight they would be discredited forever, but somehow it’s ok for Fedor to do it regularly.

    Bottom line, it’d be nice to see Fedor fight real competition more than once every couple of years.

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  • traingleman says:

    To ur point about the pride guys in retort to my previous posting ur correct to a point. Dan Henderson is a disappointment, he was brought here to be a big name and help the UFC build depth, he was dominated by Silva, outworked by Rampage and he hasn’t fought since with no fight on the horizon, Gomi is Gomi, Herring has been a huge disappointment, his only fight that he looked reaaly good was Kongo! He had Nogueira on the ropes but couldn’t close. He was just completely dominated by someone with 3 MMA fights under his belt. Rampage is great, Vanderlei is my favorite fighter and I think he has turned his career around @ middleweight and will give Spider a run for his $ for sure. All in all I guess I was off track w my pride comment, and I can admit I was wrong. In summary, I think we need to see Randy resolve his issues w UFC so Fedor can destroy him, then wait til Fedor can sign with UFC when he is 34 or 35 and fatter and slower and watch him fight some lack luster boring fights that leave us with the glaring fact that he wasted his legacy on a few million dollars that he would have made up in promotional dollars and endorsements in the UFC!!! Nice job Ruskis

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  • Nate says:

    rofl “Ross,” I agree. This one touched a sore spot.

    I like “sprewell”s points.

    Fighting for the money or the sport, I am not sure it matters. I just know when I love watching certain fighters in the ring. Fedor, Wanderlei, Anderson, Henderson, Cro-cop, BJ Penn, etc. Sure in an ideal world, I want certain match-ups. But the business, emotions, and injuries all mess with things.

    I love this sport.

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  • Warcry says:

    The point about other champs taking on circus competition is so true. We expect from our country for our champs to be looking to improve and destroy the best. It’s the American way. Give me that competitive edge to be the rest anytime. If Fedor is the best let him fight and destroy all competition to the contrary. That’s what a real Emperor would do.

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  • […] Except he’s not fighting any of those guys next, you fucking clown. How about YOU try and keep up? Fedor says he?ll return by New Year?s Eve; rematch with Cro Cop unlikely :Five Ounces of Pain I think we all know Fedor does a freakshow fight for Japanese fans at NYE, what’s the problem […]

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  • […] the opponent is not yet known. As of two weeks ago, it was reported that Fedor would either fight a “judo legend or a sumo wrestler” on New Year’s Eve. Ishii fits the bill for that description especially now that he’s […]

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  • Harry Grech says:

    Washed up judoka? are you stupid?….Judo is far superior to any martial arts there is out there. And as for affliction..the majority of the fighters there are just plain bad, Ben Rothwell is one of them, are you saying he is talented? an olympic gold medalist judoka would throw him around the ring like a sack of shit. Americans have no clue whatsoever about what a talented fighter is, so they throw big ugly clueless idiots like Tim Sylvia up against a master of judo; Fedor Emelianenko. The talent was in PRIDE.

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