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воскресенье, 21 июня 2009 г.

Fedor and MMA in Russia

Fedor Emelianenko, one of the best judo and sambo fighters turned to MMA for the money in 2000. He shocked the world and today has an incredible record 30-1 with only one technical loss due to a cut.

Despite being known around the world with more videos on youtube than perhaps of any other mma fighter, he unfortunately remains an unknown in his native Russia, except perhaps for his native town in Stary Oskol. In a country where the Ukrainian boxers (the Klitchko brothers) are known by nearly every granny in the country, Fedor remains unknown to almost everyone except the dedicated MMA fans.

Fedor Emelianenko is one of the very few Russian's that have become highly successful in MMA on the world stage. The only other native Russian fighter that in the past held a big MMA title was the UFC champion Oleg Taktarov. Observing the current world mma rankings, the only fighter from Russia in the top-10 is Fedor.

Russia is known for being a country with good sports schools and many exceptional athletes. One example is Alexander Karelin, an incredible Greco-Roman wrestler widely considered the best ever in the sport. Many of the combat sports receive very little media attention. Tennis, soccer, biathlon, ice hockey are very popular. Judo, Sambo and MMA receive very little media attention. Only recently has Boets TV (Fight TV) channel has been launched dedicated to the sport of martial arts.

Despite Vladimir Putin's Judo interests and even personal support for Fedor, the sport remains misunderstood. Media do not provide any air time and today MMA fans are doing a petition to have the Josh Barnett vs Fedor Emelianenko fight aired. It is unbelievable that in a country where most channels are controlled by the state, Fedor's performance is not aired due to expected low ratings. The man promotes Sambo around the world with his invincibility in the ring and such a small gesture cannot be made.

For all Fedor fans out there and Russian MMA, I am writing to say that Fedor, your are one of the greatest heroes in Russia ever and you have all of our support!! Keep it up!

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