MOSCOW, April 24. /TASS/. Russia’s legendary mixed martial arts (MMA) heavyweight fighter Fedor Emelianenko will be participating as delegation member to Japan this autumn for an exhibition program of national sports, a senior Russian sports official said on Tuesday.
Following their bilateral summit meeting in December 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared that Russia and Japan would hold a year of bilateral cultural exchange in 2018.
"For this year, we have planned an exhibition performance in Japan of a Russian delegation specializing in traditional national sports," Deputy Sports Minister Sergei Kosilov told journalists. "We will present such sports as Sambo wrestling, Kurash wrestling, Cossack martial arts, Northern indigenous peoples’ competitions, and ethnic Buryat archery. The event is scheduled for October 29-November 5."
"The Russian delegation to Japan will consist of famous national athletes, including the multiple world champion in mixed martial arts, Fedor Emelianenko," Kosilov added.
Emelianenko, 41, boasts an impressive career record of 36 wins and 5 losses and is dubbed ‘The Last Emperor.’
Emelianenko took his numerous fans worldwide by surprise in July 2015 by announcing his return to professional sports after an almost three-year hiatus. During his retirement period, Emelianenko held the post of the Russian MMA Union’s president and had also served from November 2012 as an advisor to then-Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko.
After his comeback in 2015, Emelianenko held three bouts to date, defeating India’s Jaideep Singh and then taking another victory over Brazil’s Fabio Maldonado. Last June he lost by TKO to US fighter Matt Mitrione.
This week, ‘The Last Emperor’ Emelianenko is squaring off with another US fighter, Frank Mir, (18 wins, 11 losses). The April 28 bout will be held at the Allstate Arena in the US state of Illinois.
Born on September 28, 1976 in the town of Rubezhnoye (located currently on the territory of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic in Ukraine’s southeast), Emelianenko fought to champions titles throughout his career. He is the MMA Pride Fighting Championships Heavyweight Champion (2003-2007), FIAS World Combat Sambo Championship Heavyweight Champion 2002, 2005, 2007 and Russian Judo Federation National Championship bronze medalist (1998, 1999).
In 2009, the respected US sports magazine, Sports Illustrated, named him "the top MMA fighter of the decade."
Former martial arts, wrestling, boxing and other fighting stars such as Mike Tyson and Chuck Norris, alongside with current MMA fighters Junior dos Santos, Fabricio Werdum and Jose Aldo as well as sports publications named Fedor Emelianenko as the greatest mixed martial arts fighter of all time.