Russian-born Fedor “The Last Emperor” Emelianenko (September 28, 1976) is a heavyweight mixed martial artist. Like many successful MMA fighters, he pinballs between various MMA sanctioning organizations and promotion groups. While bouncing around in the life’s pinball machine, Fedor Emelianenko racked up the points by winning numerous combat-sport competitions, including the World Combat Sambo Championships, Russian National Judo Championship, the RINGS Absolute Class Tournament, and PRIDE Fighting Championships, where he was their final heavyweight champion. His nickname may be in homage to the real last emperor of Russia, Nicolas II. After Russia lost the Russo-Japanese War in 1905, it was the beginning of the end for Nicolas II. Yet the loss to Japan led to the creation of Russian systema martial arts, the progenitor of Fedor Emelianenko’s first martial art, sambo. Perhaps his joy in defeating his Japanese opponents stems from these historical facts. Although Fedor Emelianenko suffers from a recurring hand injury, his brutal ground-and-pound strategy always comes in handy when the fight is on the grill.

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