Fedor Emelianenko is One Amazingly Tough Dude

By: Phoenix Delray

When it comes to mixed martial arts, you would be hard pressed to find a family more into the sport than Fedor Emelianenkos. Born and raised in Rubizhne, Luhansk (at the time, in the 1970s, it was part of Russia. Now, the area belongs to Ukraine), Fedor Emelianenko is the oldest of three brothers, all of which participate in MMA fighting on a professional level. Out of all of the brothers, however, Fedor Emelianenko has had the most professional success (by far).

After graduating high school in Russia in 1991, Fedor Emelianenko went on to attend and graduate with honors from a professional trade school. And in the mid 1990s, Fedor Emelianenko served in the Russian Army as a military firefighter, and by the late 1990s he had gotten married and started a family of his own.

Fedor Emelianenko has always had a passion for mixed martial arts fighting, specifically in the areas of Sambo and judo. At 10 years old, he began training under Vasiliy Ivanovich Gavrilov, who remembers Fedor Emelianenko as being relatively weak and without any inherent grappling talent. However, the tutor remembers that what Fedor Emelianenko lacked in physical strength and natural ability, he more than made up for with his strong will and perseverance.

1997 was really a big year for Fedor Emelianenko. In addition to receiving the prestigious Master of Sports official certification in both Sambo and judo, he also joined the Russian national team and began hitting the fighting circuit pretty hard. In 1998, after taking home the bronze medal in the Russian Judo Champoinship, he began studying new fighting techniques with his mentor Alexander Vasilievich Michkov.

By the time 1999 rolled around, Fedor Emelianenko was training for hours a day, learning the grappling, kickboxing and boxing skills he needed to take his fighting to the next level. Additionally, he started running between seven and nine miles twice a day, every single day. In 2000, reportedly because he didnt have any money, Fedor Emelianenko began competing in mixed martial arts and combat Sambo.

Since officially going pro, Fedor Emelianenko has lost only one of the 28 fights he has participated in. This has garnered him a huge fan base and a decent amount of publicity. In fact, Fedor Emelianenko has been considered one of the best heavyweight fighters in the world by publications like The Wrestling Observer, Inside MMA, ESPN and the Orange County Register.

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