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Russia’s MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko hospitalized in Moscow with COVID-19

Emelianenko is feeling well, according to the source
Fedor Emelianenko Valery Sharifulin/TASS
Fedor Emelianenko
© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, January 21. /TASS/. World-renowned, legendary MMA heavyweight fighter Fedor Emelianenko of Russia, has been rushed to a hospital in Moscow with a positive COVID-19 case, a source close to the matter told TASS on Thursday.

"Fedor has been hospitalized with the positive coronavirus case," the source said adding that "There are no critical problems. He is feeling well."

The source also said that the Russian fighter was likely to be discharged from the hospital soon.

"Fedor has lost smell and was running a temperature," he said. "He was also diagnosed with double pneumonia along with coronavirus."

"However, he will be soon discharged from the hospital, it is all over," the source added.

The Russian fighter boasts an impressive career record of 39 wins (15 by KO/TKO; 15 by submission; nine by decision) and six defeats in his 19-year-long MMA career and is dubbed in the world of MMA as ‘The Last Emperor.’

Emelianenko, who celebrated his 44th birthday last year on September 28, was expected by the mixed martial arts experts to hold another fight before the end of 2020, but it did not happen.

Last August, Emelianenko told TASS that he was not thinking about quitting sports and looked for more fights. The Russian fighter said at that time that he viewed the Russian capital of Moscow as the venue for his final bout.

Fedor Emelianenko

In late December 2019, Emelianenko defeated Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson of the United States in the Bellator competition in Japan. On December 29, 2019, the Russian MMA veteran beat his opponent by KO in the first round of the bout at the Saitama Arena. Two minutes and 59 seconds after the start of the bout, Emelianenko dealt a powerful right blow, flooring the American.

It was the seventh bout for Emelianenko, who 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 seven fights to date, defeating India’s Jaideep Singh, then clinching another victory over Brazil’s Fabio Maldonado. In June 2017 he lost by TKO to US fighter Matt Mitrione. In April 2018, he defeated US heavyweight Frank Mir with a KO win in the first round and in October 2018 he enjoyed a TKO triumph over American fighter Chael Sonnen. In January 2019, he lost by TKO (punches) to Ryan ‘Darth’ Bader of the United States and then knocked out US fighter Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson in December 2019.

Born on September 28, 1976 in the town of Rubezhnoye in Ukraine’s southeast, Emelianenko fought his way to the top earning numerous 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 esteemed American sports magazine, Sports Illustrated, named him "the top MMA fighter of the decade."