in 1997, emelianenko received the certification of “master of sports” in judo and sambo.  in 2000, due to a lack of money, emelianenko left the russian national team and began to compete professionally in mixed martial arts. emelianenko survived nogueira’s guard, considered the most dangerous in mma and easily defended all of nogueira’s submission attempts, dominating him for 20 minutes with a brutal ground and pound. as emelianenko gave his back, randleman delivered a german suplex, slamming him to the canvas headfirst, a move that would become one of the most replayed highlights in pride’s and mma’s history for years to come.  emelianenko got back to his feet and after struggling to take the fight to the ground, he submitted hunt with a kimura at 8:16 in the first round.  in a june 2007 interview with the baltimore sun, chuck liddell suggested that emelianenko was on his way to the ufc. sylvia was the fourth-ranked heavyweight fighter in mma by sherdog.com prior to his fight with emelianenko.
 however, as emelianenko backed into the ropes, arlovski attempted a flying knee and emelianenko was able to counter with an overhand right which resulted in a knockout of arlovski at 3:14 of the first round. after knocking werdum down early in the first round, emelianenko closed in, but werdum secured a deep triangle and an armbar from his guard, and fedor was forced to tap. if i was to do it again – if i see a fighter face down receiving shots, i’m going to step in and stop the fight. in a statement released through his management, emelianenko added that he has retired from his position at the russian ministry of sport, and will put all attention toward his comeback.  in turn, in mid-july the official result was overturned to a draw. although emelianenko is mainly known as a striker, he is considered to excel in all of the attributes of the mma game.  in 2020, ufc president dana white stated that the only fight he regrets not having made was a match between emelianenko and brock lesnar, when lesnar was the ufc heavyweight champion. “ emelianenko was one of 80 russian sports champions, cultural icons and national heroes to carry the olympic torch in st. petersburg in 2008.
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