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In Case You Missed It: The Emelianenko Brothers Worked a Bout Last Month [VIDEO]

(“Now insult my mother and tell me you want to slap her on the ass and make her cook you some borscht.”)

With today’s fighting landscape where we see teammates competing against one another like Gokan Saki fighting Golden Glory training partner Alistair Overeem in K-1 and Carlos Condit preparing to take on Team Jackson stablemate Georges St-Pierre, you’d think that brothers competing in a combat sambo match wouldn’t be a big deal.

Apparently Fedor Emelianenko disagrees.

The former PRIDE and WAMMA heavyweight champion competed in his beloved Russian mat sport last month and when he found himself paired with younger brother Aleksander in the heavyweight final, the fix was in.

Instead of squaring off, Alecks, who is a four-time Sambo champ, embraced Fedor, allowing himself to be thrown and submitted by his brother with an armbar, in what looked more like a demo than a bout.

The brief display made Bob Sapp look like a gamer.


Bellator Heavyweight Blagoi Ivanov on Life Support Following Sunday Stabbing

Undefeated Heavyweight and Bellator veteran Blagoi Ivanov is reportedly clinging to life in a Bulgarian hospital after being stabbed in the heart early Sunday morning. The former Sambo champion was attending the after party of a boxing tournament when he and his two friends were attacked by a group of eight men carrying guns and knives. The reasoning behind this altercation has yet to be determined, but police have already made several arrests of those believed to be involved in the incident.

Although his friends were able to walk away from the incident with minor injuries, Ivanov was immediately rushed to a nearby hospital following the incident when it was determined that the knife blade, which entered through his armpit, had penetrated his heart. The six hour surgery that followed was successful, but the next 48 hours are critical in determining the fate of the 25 year old, according to inside sources.


Technique Video of the Day: The Russian Toe Hold That Will Kill Us All

I awoke this morning to find a lone, blinking message on my answering machine. The messenger, whom shall be referred to as Minowaman for the time being, informed me of a video that would not only change the MMA and combat sports world’s forever, but possibly reignite the long, bitter tensions between the United States and Russia. And now, I will pass it on to you, Potato Nation, as I can only assume that shit in my town is about to go Red Dawn within the hour.

Amidst a deadly crew of English-speaking, Russian sleeper cells, a lone FBI agent, code name Gull of the Sea (at his request), was able to infiltrate a remote, Russian facility, like so, and record the following video of the illegal toe hold technology that the Russians have been building up for years.


Coach Vladimir Voronov: Fedor Won’t Run Away Down to 205

Vladimir Voronov Fedor Emelianenko sambo Russia MMA photos

By Anton Gurevich

On July 30th, Fedor Emelianenko will step inside the Strikeforce cage for the 4th time in his career, this time facing fellow MMA legend and former PRIDE Champion Dan “Hendo” Henderson at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. The fight against Henderson will be a defining moment in Emelianenko’s illustrious MMA career, as he will look to bounce back from two consecutive defeats, against Fabricio Werdum via submission and Antonio Silva via TKO (doctor’s stoppage).

One of the men behind Fedor’s success as a Mixed Martial Artist is his eternal Sambo coach and mentor Vladimir Voronov, who has trained “The Last Emperor” since the age of twelve. Voronov holds numerous honors as a Sambo specialist and coach, including the prestigious “Honoured Coach of Russia”. We had an opportunity to speak to the Sambo legend about Fedor Emelianenko’s preparations for Dan Henderson, motivation, the state of Russian MMA and much more…

Everyone was surprised to see Fedor and Alexander Emelianenko training together recently. What kind of effect did it have on Fedor’s preparation?
Well, first of all, they are brothers. Alexander wanted to train and he joined us for this camp. I consider him to be the second best Russian fighter after Fedor. And that’s exactly why having him as a sparring partner was a very positive thing for Fedor.

Henderson recently stated that he thinks Fedor has problems with motivation. What can you say about Fedor’s motivation coming to this bout?
Right now, he’s very motivated. It’s hard to say what will happen during the fight, because it all depends on Fedor. As coaches, we have done and are doing everything in our power to help Fedor reaching the peak of his physical and psychological condition. Now, everything depends on Fedor

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Technique Video of the Day: How To Sambo a Fool

VidProps: PhuketTopTeam/YouTube

Since some of you seemed to enjoy our last technique video, we thought we’d throw another one at you and see what happens. Rather than BJJ, though, we’ve decided to drop some Sambo knowledge on you bastards.

(For those of you who are questioning my Sambo credentials: first, asking for my bona fides while i’m trying to learn you something is disrespectful. Second, i studied under 33rd Degree Combat Sambo Master Zangief, and i accept your apology.)

The video comes to us from Silviu Dorin Vulc at Phuket Top Team, a name that may become more familiar to you if this whole OneFC thing takes off. Sambo, as you no doubt are aware, is a Russian hybrid martial art developed by the military that incorporates judo and folk wrestling styles, and has become something of a big deal in Russia. It’s the background of choice for famous commies like Oleg Taktarov, Andrei Arlovski, and the experimental military cyborg the Emelianenko (both “A” and “F” series).

What we found interesting was the interplay and transition from a common standing clinch position (even more familiar to the Muay Thai guys that Vulc trains) to a submission on the ground. At the risk of sounding edumacated, it’s a microcosm of the development of our sport: assimilate everything, use what works, and discard what doesn’t. If only a famous, charismatic fighter would articulate that for us.



Aleks Emelianenko Won the Russian Combat Sambo Championship, By the Way

Josh Barnett isn’t the only troubled MMA fighter who doesn’t mind spending his free time beating up on guys who aren’t really on his level.  Aleksander Emelianenko likes himself a good mismatch almost as much as he likes tattoos, so naturally it just made sense for him to totally rule the 2010 Russian Combat Sambo Championships.  In keeping with the Emelianenko family’s proud Sambo history, Aleks took home the gold medal after roughing up a couple of guys who seemed like they didn’t particularly want to be in there with him, and then finished with a fun little romp against old pal Kiril "Baby Fedor" Sidelnikov in the finals. 

Check out that bout, where they apparently love each other too much to throw hands, after the jump.  Make sure to pay close attention to how both men use the handshake as an opportunity to jump their opponent at different points in the match.  The Russian crowd just can’t get enough of that gag.


Dude Who Beat Fedor in Sambo to Face Dude Who Punched Fedor Really Hard in MMA

Blagoi Ivanov Sambo
(And to think this all started with a colorful gi, some little shorts, and a dream.)

It looks like Combat Sambo tournaments might actually lead to career advancement opportunities, after all.  Blagoi Ivanov has signed a three-fight deal with Sengoku and will reportedly face former Pride fighter Kazuyuki Fujita in his first fight at Sengoku 9 in August.  Ivanov is the guy who made minor waves (more like ripples by the time they reached the U.S.) when he beat Fedor Emelianenko on points in the World Combat Sambo Championships last November.  Fujita’s claim to fame is that he once hit Fedor so hard it briefly stunned him.  Neither of these accomplishments is enough to make this a truly interesting fight, although Sengoku has got to take what they can get when it comes to heavyweights. 


Fighters Only Caption Contest — The Glorious Finalists

Fedor Emelianenko Sambo

After sifting through the entries to our latest caption contest, we’ve chosen eight finalists. Check ‘em out below, and use the poll on the right (scroll down a bit) to pick your favorite — the five people with the most votes will all score subscriptions to either the U.S. or Canadian versions of Fighters Only magazine; the other three are losers and will get nothing. (Okay, maybe we’ll send ‘em a t-shirt.) Results will be announced tomorrow. Thanks to everyone who entered!


Batman: After Fedor’s circumcision, the Russian Team celebrates because they now have enough meat to eat for a year.
[Ed. note: This has to be the front-runner for first-place, considering all the love it was getting by other commenters.]

SiDeBuRnZ: In mother Russia, sky go youdiving.
[Ed. note: Yakov Smirnoff would be proud.]

danomite: Everyone was happy til someone told Fedor that Nicoli forgot the ice cream. A mass funeral service will be held tomorrow at 2 pm.

philaxler: Fedor returning from his glorious arm bar victory over God.

MitchBanks: "Light as a Fedor, stiff as a board."
[Ed. note:We were surprised at how many of you made reference to that girls' slumber-party game, but whatever.]

mayhem420: 3 cheers for Emelianenko!?
Hep hep hooray?
hep hep hooray
?hep …..oh sorry that’s the other Emelianenko!

Michael W.:
"Finally, Jerry Millen‘s lips are off of my ass"

El Famous Burrito:
? Believe it or not,? I’m walking on air. ?I never thought I could feel so free. ?
? With two ice cream cones and a really gay sweater.? Who could it be?? Believe it or not it’s just me. ?
[Ed. note: Great attention to detail, Burrito. Those musical notes really sell it.]


On Fedor, Russia, and Why Good Guys Can Be So Boring

(A joy so pure, so simple, it can only come from two ice cream cones.)

Noted author and smug smartass Matthew Polly traveled to Russia to witness firsthand Fedor Emelianenko’s loss at the Sambo World Championships in St. Petersburg in November.  He tells the tale in an article for that contains several interesting insights about Russia and none of the cloying, faux-intellectual bullshit that usually finds its way into any Slate article (“Was Kevin Costner’s ‘Waterworld’ an Ahead-of-Its-Time Eco-Parable?” asks one such article.  No, asshole.  No it wasn’t).   

While the whole thing is interesting, even if you don’t care about Russian history or why St. Petersburg is a bizarrely beautiful and yet poorly-designed city, the last page is where we get serious about the mystery of Fedor.  What we end up learning, though, both in the Slate article and the full post-Sambo loss interview on Fightlinker, is that Fedor is either too nice to be interesting or else an impenetrable enigma.  And maybe we just choose to believe the latter because it’s more fun.


Fedor Says You Should Calm Down About His Sambo Loss

Fedor Emelianenko
(‘It would be pleasure to hurt hand on your face very much.’)

Fedor Emelianenko broke his silence about his Combat Sambo loss this past weekend, telling Dave Meltzer that it’s no biggie. Sambo’s just something he does for shits and giggles. MMA is what he does for money:

“My Bulgarian opponent wasn’t a surprise,” said Emelianenko through an interpreter. “I always understand there could be the possibility of losing a bout. My opponent was European champion in combat sambo. But for me, sambo is a hobby. I enjoy participating in the sport, but it’s a different sport. It’s a sport scored based on throws and being taken to the ground. That’s happened to me in MMA with [Kazuyuki] Fujita and [Antonio Rodrigo] Nogueira. It’s not my occupation or my work, which is MMA. I think the result would be different under MMA rules.”

It’s not quite ‘Oh, Snap!’ worthy, but in Fedor terms that’s about as close to shit-talking as he usually likes to get. He makes a valid point, though. Sambo isn’t a real fight, and anyway he lost on points. Word has it that he flew in from Thailand not long before the match, and a source who spoke to Fedor at the actual event tells Cage Potato that the Russian doesn’t really seem too excited about Sambo these days, and may be doing it more out of patriotic obligation than anything else.

In other words, don’t get your hopes up, Andrei Arlovski. Fedor hasn’t fallen off just yet.