Voices from Russia

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Russian Fedor Emelianenko Bucks MMA standard

Filed under: Christian,inspirational,Orthodox life,religious,Russian,sport,USA — 01varvara @ 00.00

Fyodor Vladimirovich Emelyanenko (1976- ), MMA champ… wanna rumble?

Editor’s Foreword:

One of my readers sent me the link to this… it’s how I find things out. No legit commentator ever works alone… don’t forget that. I always keep my contacts anonymous. Anyone who doesn’t do so has no respect for others… do keep that in mind as you surf the web. Also, note that I do my best to keep all private individuals unnamed, to protect their privacy, except for certain loud sorts who are posting on the net. In such cases, these people have placed their names in public view voluntarily. Nevertheless, I believe that people’s private lives are verboten material for me. It doesn’t matter if they are posting on my private life; I have no right to post on any ordinary person’s personal affairs or history. There are all too many who disregard this dictum… my suggestion is to “unplug” all those who post on other’s private doings. It’s how decent people can shut up such nasty scum. Remember… if they “expose” one person… YOU could be next. Think on THAT…



When it comes to heavyweight fighters, America is used to loud-mouthed narcissists, many of them with chiselled physiques and tattoos, not to mention police records and felonious entourages. Fedor Emelianenko, Russia’s mixed martial arts superstar, is a different breed of cat. He’s modest, soft-spoken, and practically bald. He plays chess, doesn’t drink, and vows he’ll never get a tattoo. Devoutly religious, he brought two Russian Orthodox priests with him on his current trip to the United States. “I always remember that I am a representative of my country, and I always think about the culture I’m bringing to people”, he said.

By the standards of MMA heavyweights, he’s practically a runt at 6 feet, 235 pounds. Thanks to a nose that has seen some punishment, he looks like a bouncer, and not a particularly buff one. However, when he enters the cage, bad things start happening to his opponent, usually very quickly. His record is a panoply of knockouts and submission moves, generally armbars with the odd chokehold mixed in. “He’s the Muhammad Ali of the sport”, said his friend and attorney, Steve Bash. “If he were American, he’d be the first star of the sport to go mainstream”. Sitting at a news conference to hype tonight’s fight against Brazilian jiu-jitsu star Fabricio Werdum at HP Pavilion, the 33-year-old Emelianenko listened with his eyes half-closed as he awaited his turn to issue a few remarks in praise of his opponent. He wore a light green T-shirt, fashionably frayed khaki shorts, black socks, grey athletic shoes, and an occasional smirk. Asked how comfortable he is in the bright lights of the media, he admitted, “I prefer to stay in the shade”.

In an interview with The Chronicle, he said he has no trouble reconciling his religious faith with a sport that involves kicking, punching without padded gloves and applying wrestling holds so painful they require opponents to surrender. “This is not a violent sport for me”, he said. “It is just sport. First, what I can see here is the competition… beautiful technique, class, physical strength as well. It’s physical and spiritual development. That’s why there’s no contradiction for me being religious and being in this sport. If the Russian Orthodox Church were against the sport, I would leave. But at times many countries have needed strong, physically developed men who could protect their families, their people, and their motherland”. Watching another sport, an NFL game in Chicago last fall, he left early. “Everything was going very slowly”, he said.

His name is pronounced FYO-dor yemel-YAN-enko. In his sport, he’s simply “Fedor”. According to Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker, he “embodies the characteristics of what a martial artist should be like”. Coker calls him not only the best MMA fighter in the world but “the best of all time”. There are hundreds of videos of him in action on YouTube, including a highlight reel that has drawn 2.7 million views. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, a black belt in judo, is a fan. The one blemish on his 31-1 record came when a ref awarded his foe the win as a result of a gash above Emelianenko’s eye that wouldn’t stop bleeding. The wound was caused by an illegal elbow.

His critics complain that because he doesn’t compete in the Ultimate Fighting Championships, the big league of MMA, he doesn’t face all the top fighters, like Brock Lesnar. However, he has whipped several former UFC champions; 6-foot-8 Tim Sylvia, for example, lasted just 36 seconds against him. UFC honcho Dana White tried to negotiate a deal with Emelianenko, but his management group, M-1 Global, wanted to split the promotional pie with UFC. White balked; Strikeforce, based in San Jose, happily obliged. Frank Shamrock, the former UFC and Strikeforce champ and now a TV analyst on MMA fights, said that while most fighters can get tripped up by a certain style, “nothing bothers him. There’s a shield of invincibility around him. Nobody can seem to penetrate it”.

Emelianenko and his second wife, Marina, live in the small industrial city of Stary Oskol, 400 miles south of Moscow. He trains five hours per day. Being a true martial artist, according to Shamrock, “requires that you live a life of solitude and exploration. It’s not hard for him because he lives in isolation. It’s hard for these young kids in America because one minute they’re training in a gym all day, and the next minute they’re on television thinking they’re stars. This is his job. He’s not wrapped up in the fame. To him, it’s not about that. It’s about his fighting art. His journey has made him the greatest fighter on the planet”.

26 June 2010

Tom FitzGerald

San Francisco Chronicle


Editor’s Afterword:

Orthodoxy touches all of life as Fyodor Vladimirovich illustrates. We’re not just canon quoters and we don’t have to wear dowdy black clothing. We’re ordinary folk, and you can’t tell us from our secular neighbours by appearances… if you can, there’s something WRONG. One Fyodor Vladimirovich is worth more than all of the self-appointed “First Families of Orthodoxy” out there put together. I wonder how long some of the loudmouth internet trolls would last in the ring against FVE? Now, that’s a rousing thought, no?



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