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Aleksander Emelianenko to Headline Next Month’s M-1 Challenge?

Might as well pop some Excedrin now, because your head will be aching after this one. According to, M-1 Global is quietly setting up its first event in Russia, which will go down at St. Petersburg’s 3000-seat Ice Palace on April 3rd. One of the promotional images is above; the event will be headlined by Aleksander Emelianenko (against a yet-unnamed opponent), with M-1/PRIDE/Bodog vets Roman Zentsov and Amar Suloev also scheduled to fight (ditto). According to ADCombat’s anonymous “Russian insider”:

“With the Russian elections last weekend, advertising before [then] was next to impossible, as most attention is focused on the elections. The smaller venue may indicate a good bit of pragmatism on the part of the promoters, since they are only going to have a month or so to really push the event.”

So, by now you’re thinking, “if this is supposed to be an M-1 Global event, why does that ad clearly say M-1 Mix Fight?” Very good question. ADCombat writes:

In a previous conversation, M-1 Global’s Monte Cox confirmed that [Vadim] Finkelstein and [Apy] Echteld would be promoting events with the M-1 Global name, however the infrastructure for the show and promotion are independent of what Cox will use when M-1 Global begins to move forward in the United States.

Which explains absolutely nothing, considering that Finkelchtein isn’t promoting this event with M-1 Global’s name, but under his old Mix Fight label. According to, the St. Petersburg event will actually be the second leg of the not-very-well-publicized “M-1 Challenge” that we briefly mentioned last month. The first M-1 Challenge event was apparently held last Sunday in the Netherlands, with the Fedor-coached Russian Red Devil Sports Club competing against France’s Team Amossou, and a Netherlands team taking on a pack of Germans; shockingly, the Russians lost three out of five matches to the Frenchmen. (Don’t ask how the Netherlands/Germany matchups went down, because results weren’t published on, and news hasn’t yet trickled down to any other American MMA websites.)

RussianMMA reports that the April 3rd M-1 Challenge event will include teams from Russia, Japan, and “Europe,” and Emelianenko/Zentsov/Suloev will be competing in superfights. Checking M-1 Global’s official site, of course, confirmed nothing — it hasn’t been updated since New Year’s Eve, and you can’t expect Monte Cox to keep tabs on Vadim all the time. Especially when M-1 Global is such a disorganized pit of confusion

Cagepotato Comments

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Anonymous- February 4, 2009 at 12:02 pm
he almost always has a mullet. It looks tight.
johnnymoon- March 5, 2008 at 9:16 pm
Alright, who let Aleksander have his picture taken with a mullet?!?
Old, Bald and Irish- March 5, 2008 at 7:23 pm
An interview with Alek asking about the tats:

Q: My next question may appear tactless but still our forum is overloaded with questions as for when and where you made your tattoos and if they correspond to fact. Can you tell us about it?

A: Honestly speaking I don’t know what to say. All tattoos were made at different time and by different people. As for meanings every tattoo has its own location and accordance . I can just say what they denote for those who are unaware. For example, there is a cathedral with five domes on my right hand and each dome denotes one year of imprisonment. The stars on the shoulders symbolize honesty and dignity of a person who lives according to his principles. There is Mother of God on my back.

Q: What does it denote?

A: Absolutely nothing. I just liked the picture, originally done. The stars on my knees “say” “I will never kneel”. The tattoo “Pirate” denotes an article from criminal code concerning robbery. I hope the sign in Latin ” Good luck follows the brave“ doesn’t need any comments. There are words in German “God with us” on my back. For me it is a symbol of revival so to say. There is a inscription on my left shoulder in Russian, those who are interested may examine it on the photos. Below my elbow there is half a head of a cat, half scull. It may be interpreted as “Homo homini lupus est”. This saying is one of life principles. On my shoulder there is a net.

Q: Speaking about this net. There are questions in the forum if it denotes your connection with mafia, maybe your victories are unfair.

A: No, this net has another meaning. It has nothing in common with mafia. My achievements and victories are result of hard work, not only mine but also of my coaches. As I’ve already mentioned they are Vladimir Voronov and Alexander Michkov. And my brother surely contributed to it.

Q: Is it painful to make a tattoo?

A: Endurable. But there are some part of a body where it is more painful. The most unpleasant feeling is when one’s knees and feet are tattooed.

Q: Are there any tattoos on your feet as well?

A: Yes. Some aphorisms.
Old, Bald and Irish- March 5, 2008 at 7:16 pm

I'm not saying that Aleksander Emelianenko is in the Russian mob or has served time in jail. For all I know, he got drunk with his buds and got tatted up just like everyone else I know.

That being said, several of his tats are "somewhat" consistant with Russian prison tats:

• Points on stars may represent years/time served in prison: Aleksander's chest
• Death and skull imagery is common in prison tats: Aleksander's back and right shoulder
• Skulls will often represent that a person has murdered someone: Aleksander's back and right shoulder
• Spider webs represent either an addiction problem or that the person has served time in jail: Aleksander's left shoulder
• Russian architecture, such as churches and cathedrals, are common prison tats. The number of towers (steeple) on a cathedral will sometimes represent how long the person has served time in jail: Aleksander's right forearm

I know NOTHING about Aleksander's previous years, and frankly, don't really care. I'm just pointing out the unusual choice of imagery that Alek chose for his tats. That's all.

By the way, I also noticed that Fedor has no tats.
Boner- March 5, 2008 at 7:01 pm
and do I spy the beginnings of a mullet on Aleksander?
Boner- March 5, 2008 at 7:00 pm
Wow look at all that pastey euro-skin!
tree_choppa- March 5, 2008 at 6:15 pm
tree_choppa- March 5, 2008 at 5:57 pm
anybody seen the movie eastern promises? aleksanders got all the russian mafia tats. good flick, check it out if you havn't seen it
Jemaleddin- March 5, 2008 at 5:27 pm
I am SO glad that Fedor is working with this group instead of the schlubs at the UFC. This is some first-class stuff* right here.

* The stuff in question is bullshit.