A Timeline of Fedor Emelianenko’s Career


Fedor Emelianenko. Photo courtesy of Affliction Entertainment.

Fedor “The Last Emperor” Emelianenko is considered the all-time ultimate mixed martial artist ever in the history of the sport and one who has redefined the genre of competitive fighting. His dominance over his opponents, coupled with the mystery that surrounds him, leaves audiences always curious and captivated.

Fedor is set to defend his WAMMA heavyweight title against Andrei “The Pitbull” Arlovski, in what is sure to be a blockbuster fight for Affliction M-1 “Day Of Reckoning,” January 24th at Honda Center and live on Pay-Per-View. The juxtaposition of Fedor’s quiet, humble demeanor with his eerie, assassin-like persona in the ring makes him the most intriguing figure in MMA today.

The WAMMA heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko, widely considered to be the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world, began training when he was just a boy. At the age of 11 on a recommendation from his Judo instructor, Vasilyi Ivanovich Gavrilov, he began training with the Vladimir Nevsky Club.

The trainer saw something in Fedor, and knew early on he would be great one day.  Fedor’s family had little money, so Gavrilov bought the young Fedor a Judo uniform and training shoes so he could start his training. The rest is history.

1988: At the age of 12, Fedor started training in grappling under Vladimir Mihailovich Voronov, who even after over two decades, remains Fedor’s dedicated trainer and coach. Early on, Voronov stressed discipline, the seriousness of training and the sport’s techniques in general.

As a teenager, Fedor dedicated himself to his craft, as he aspired to join the Russian national team. Voronov also pitched in with financing training costs.  With his team around him and strong family support, Fedor was ready to train hard to become a true competitor of the sport.

1995-1997: He served in the Russian Army as a military firefighter, and when he was not on the job, he was training (though he was limited to running and strength conditioning).

1998: Ready and with enough experience for competition, Fedor received a Master of Sport of International Degree in Sambo after winning a gold medal in a prestigious International A-Class Tournament. He won a bronze medal in the Russian Judo Championship, as well in the Russian Sambo Championship. In the same year, Fedor won the first place in the Russian Armed Forces Sambo Championship in the heavyweight division and receives the silver in an open-weight division.

1999: Fedor won the International Sambo Tournament, and received the bronze in an International A-Class Tournament. Then a member of the The Russian National Team Fedor helped the team receive first place in the European Sambo Championship.

2000: Fedor added striking techniques to his training regimen with Michkov Alexander Vasilievich. He won third place in the Russian Sambo Championship, and made his debut in Rings.

2001: Fedor became the Rings Heavyweight Champion.

2002: Fedor became the open-weight champion in Rings and then moved to PRIDE. He won the gold medal in the Russian Combat Sambo Championship and first place in the World Combat Sambo Championship in the heavyweight division and open-weight division. Fedor became captain of the Russian team, which won first place.

2003: After Fedor’s wins over Semmy Schilt and Heath Herring, he prevailed through eliminations and faced Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, who was heavyweight champion at the time. After his his victory over Nogueira and becoming the heavyweight champion, Fedor faced Kazuyuki Fujita and Gary Goodridge.

2004: Fedor fought five times in PRIDE (against Mark Coleman, Kevin Randleman, Naoya Ogawa and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira) and in the New Year’s Eve in Japan after winning the Grand Prix; he received two belts-Grand Prix and World PRIDE Champion.

2005: Fedor fought three times for PRIDE. After fighting and winning in the title bout against Mirko CroCop in August, he became a three-time heavyweight world champion.

2006: Because of a recurring hand injury, Fedor could fight only twice in 2006. One of those fights was a title bout against Mark Hunt in which Fedor became the heavyweight champion for the fourth time.

2007: Fedor received a national award called “Golden Belt” for “the brightest win of the year.”

2008: At the inaugural Affliction event in conjunction with M-1 Global, Fedor won the first ever unified WAMMA belt in the heavyweight category by defeating two-time UFC Heavyweight Champion Tim Sylvia.

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