This heart-tugging commercial for a Russian gym starring Fedor Emelianenko might make a tear or two drop from your eyes — and not just because you never got to see Emelianenko in the UFC.
This ad shows a young boy watching MMA with his beer-bellied dad asleep on the couch. The boy rummages through a closet to see his father’s old trophies and awards, presumably from his fighting career.
The camera then follows the boy around as he watches in adoration as Emelianenko runs, trains and works out. The boy is also shown doing odd jobs and getting paid. Near the end, the boy comes to his father and presents him a pamphlet. He made enough money doing chores to buy his pops a gym membership.
Father and son hit the gym to train with — who else? — Emelianenko himself.
Bellator CEO Scott Coker suggested following Bellator 123 that a matchup between Fedor Emelianenko and former UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture is not out of the realm of possibility.
It appears no one is willing to let Fedor Emelianenko’s retire in peace.
Bellator CEO Scott Coker hinted to members of the media following the Bellator 123 fight card on Friday that a match-up between Randy Couture and MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko is something he may be interested in.
“All I can say is that we’re in dialogue with M-1, but that’s all I have to say at this time about that,” Coker said. “You know, that’s a fight I personally would love to see, but I just don’t know if it’s going to happen,”
While both fighters are officially retired from professional competition, they have both expressed disappointment over the fight never coming to fruition. Now that Coker has taken the reins of Bellator, he could attempt to resume the working relationship he once had at Strikeforce with the Russian heavyweight and his management team.
Asked if this was a serious suggestion and whether Couture would even be interested in such a match-up, Coker responded:
“Randy? He’s dancing with the stars now,” Coker said with a laugh. “I mean, he’s not going to want to go fight Fedor now that he’s hanging out with some good-lookin’ girls dancing every night. “But we’ll see him next. We’ll talk to him and see what he has to say.”
According to Lesnar’s longtime friend and on-screen advocate Paul Heyman, Lesnar was gearing up for the fight against “The Last Emperor” and was beginning to train for the bout with a clean bill of health.
Over the past few years, UFC commissioner Dana White has periodically given media members small windows into the failed negotiations to bring Fedor to the UFC to face Lesnar.
When I was talking about doing that big Dallas Texas stadium show it was going to be Brock Lesnar versus Fedor. Remember when I met with him and I said it didn’t get well? It actually did go well. It went well and then Fedor’s dad died, he wanted to fight Fedor.
On Monday’s MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, Heyman reiterated why the bout was essentially scrapped after the wheels were in motion for the two heavyweights to collide, saying: “Fedor’s father passed away and Fedor lost all desire and motivation to fight.”
Heyman said it was the one fight at the time that Lesnar was willing to get back in the cage for, and that the former UFC heavyweight champion was “ready, willing, able and already starting pre-training camp.”
Heyman also elaborated on Lesnar’s condition going into the bout with Overeem, saying:
He had a clean bill of health, finally. Brock was not ready for the Overeem fight, and I think that’s fairly obvious. A liver kick, well placed, will drop any human being on the face of this planet. A liver kick from Alistair Overeem, at that size and weight—no matter how he achieved it—is going to drop any human being. … Brock was unhealthy walking into that fight with Alistair Overeem.
As the old adage goes, hindsight is 20/20, and Heyman acknowledged that Lesnar wasn’t in tune with how his diverticulitis was impacting his MMA career, saying:
I don’t think that Brock has ever truly understood nor accepted until he got past it—the severity of the illness that took him down. … Brock, once he got past the Overeem fight, had all these treatments, switched treatments and doctors and finally got a clean bill of health.
i want to see Nick Diaz vs Anderson Silva for the same reason i still want to see Fedor vs Brock Lesnar. It’s in my DNA, bro.
— E. Casey Leydon (@ekc) July 29, 2014
It wouldn’t be a rotation around the sun for the MMA world without discussion of if and when Lesnar will fight again inside the Octagon. He currently is working a part-time schedule with WWE, with his appearances revolving around the handful of biggest shows of the year for the company. Heyman didn’t think the door was completely closed for a potential return to fighting for Lesnar, coyly saying:
If a change of circumstance happens, and it’s a no-brainer to get Brock back into the cage, I’m sure it’s something he would consider. At this moment, it’s not a topic of conversation because things are going so well in WWE.
We’ve known for quite some time that the fight was sought after by Dana White and the UFC. And we learned last year that Fedor’s retirement was the main driver for us not getting to see it happen.
But Heyman’s comments on The MMA Hour illustrate a Lesnar who was free of diverticulitis and was getting ready for what could have been the biggest drawing fight ever.
The new information lends itself to the idea that Lesnar still does have the drive to compete and will someday want to satisfy that urge to test his mettle in the UFC.
Vladimir Alexandrovich Emelianenko (RIP) with his sons in an undated image
Retired legend Fedor Emelianenko is touring Canada, in support of the World Mixed Martial Arts Association. The WMMA is a non-profit group run by crazy Russian M-1 owner and Emelianenko’s manager Vadim Finkelchtein. The WMMA – not to be confused with Women’s MMA – has the stated goal of getting amateur MMA in the Olympics. Emelianenko serves are the organization’s honorary president.
“I’m really here to promote the sport, provide support for Canadian fighters and be here to celebrate the joining of (the Canadian MMA Federation and the worldwide organization),” said Fedor to Danny Austin for the Calgary Sun, through hot translator Ioulia Reynolds. “Getting MMA in the Olympics is the main goal. Right now we’re focusing on the safety of the sport and putting all the rules and practices in place to adhere to world standards of the sport and make sure it’s safe.”
Although he is irrevocably retired, Fedor is not getting fat and happy. He has the same mirthful eyes and wide, goofy grin.
“I still train, so there isn’t much that I miss,” said Emelianenko. “A true athlete is someone who doesn’t just stop training when they stop competing. It’s a way of life and they keep in shape just to keep up that standard.
“Plus, there’s a lot of younger guys who would like to take me down, so I always need to keep up because I definitely don’t want that to happen.”
In the sport’s early days, Miletich Martial Arts had world champions when the gym consisted of a racquetball court. Now there are sprawling celebrity camps, with reporters cycling through on a constant basis. However, Fedor still advocates the spartan training he is famous for.
“It’s essential for a fighter to go separately and just focus on training away from everybody else,” said Emelianenko. “(To be an MMA fighter) takes hard work. You need to be fearless. You need to see your target and go for it. You have to turn all your negatives into positives and all your weaknesses into strengths.”
Fedor will never fight again, but if he did, if he was again at his peak, he knows who he’d want to mix it up with.
“Cain Velasquez,” said Fedor. “He has some technical difficulties, but he has ambition and he’s fearless. He wants to win so badly and he’s in great condition. He’s a thinking fighter.”
On April 24 in Voronezh, Russia considered by many experts, fighters and analysts, the greatest mixed martial artists of all times and now the President of the Russian MMA Union – Fedor ”The Last Emperor” Emelianenko (34-4 (1) MMA) held an MMA seminar. Check out the videos below and enjoy!
A look back at life of The Last emperor in the year of 2013
Official Fedor Emelianenko interview after first MMA World Championship.
Another highlight video about the God of MMA.