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Home News The last name does everything: Ivan Emelianenko will make his MMA debut against the former Russian judo champion

The last name does everything: Ivan Emelianenko will make his MMA debut against the former Russian judo champion

Photo by Samuel Castro on Unsplash

The name Emelianenko has long been a brand in the mixed martial arts world. Fedor is one of the greatest fighters in history and former champion of organizations such as Pride and RINGS. Alexander has more fame for his numerous scandals than his athletic accomplishments, but every fight he fights also attracts a lot of interest.

The younger one, Ivan, always remained in the shadow of his illustrious brothers but at the age of 35 he decided to make his professional MMA debut. On May 26 he will perform at the “REN TV Fight Club” on the same card with Alexander and another veteran, Alexey Oleynik. And his first opponent will be the famous judoka Alexei Ledenev. He has won numerous medals in this discipline at the national championships among youth, and in 2007 he took the highest award at the adult championship of Russia. He is also a medalist in the World Cup.

After retiring from his career, the young man went into business, and in 2010 he unexpectedly took part in the “Dancing with the Stars” project and won it with Anastasia Stotskaya. Last year Ledenev decided to try his hand at pop-MMA, and this, too, turned out quite successfully. Within the “Our Cause” promotion he was stronger than Evgeny Ershov, Narek Puhlash Simonyan and Maxim Axe Shcherbakov, and lost only to Denis Big Papa Vildanov.

Such a vis-a-vis seems to be in the competence of the debutant, but he is able to oppose him only to the titles of master of sports in combat sambo and hand-to-hand combat obtained a long time ago. For comparison, his opponent is a master of sports of international class.

Interestingly, Ivan was originally was to face Fabio Maldonado, who fought for five years at UFS. This fight was interesting in terms of revenge for the Brazilian’s highly controversial loss to Fedor in 2016 at Fight Nights Global. Back then, the WMMAA commission even filed a protest and insisted on a draw, but the Russian MMA Union refused to reconsider the judges’ verdict. Promoter Vladimir Khryunov had already announced the confrontation, but in the end the organizers apparently decided that the level of the aged Latino was far superior to that of the Russian.

At the same time, Alexander Emelianenko, who actively supported his brother, offered to meet him to the rapper Dzhigan, with whom he had a conflict.

“If Jigan is afraid to jump out against me, let him try his forces in fight with my brother Ivan. Although Jigan will get a good kick out of him too. Vanya’s ready to fight Jigan tomorrow. Jigan hasn’t been an athlete for a long time, and his musical accomplishments are controversial. If he’s not afraid, then let him agree to fight Ivan. But otherwise… Let him continue to cover himself with incredible fees,” “Match TV” quotes the athlete.

And at the end of March, Khrunov announced that on May 26, the debutant would face Sviatoslav Kovalenko and try to “beat his brother with a club. However, at that time Alexander’s manager Nikita Burchak called the blogger not the most suitable option at the moment.

“I’m not sure it’s a good fight to start, because Kovalenko is in good shape, actually. He’s had a bare-knuckle fight recently, and he performs regularly. Ivan, after all, hasn’t performed for a long time. So at the moment, we will see how fit he is, we will spar with him. And after that we will finally decide who will be his first opponent”, – said Burchak.

And soon, Vitaly Tarasov, Kovalenko’s representative, denied information about a possible meeting and stressed that no one made him any relevant offers. At the same time there was allegedly a discussion of a rematch with Alexander, but on a different date.

The very personality of Ivan has always aroused interest among fans, because he, unlike his brothers, did not build a career, did not give interviews and led an ordinary life. The scarce details of his biography are known only from the words of his brothers. He grew up with them in Stary Oskol and there by their example began to engage in mixed martial arts. It should be noted that in 2009 the young man could have fought by MMA rules in South Korea, but it was canceled due to the fault of the organizers. However, Fedor has always emphasized that his relative lacks the character to succeed.

“Ivan will take part in a combat sambo tournament in the near future. He often travels with us to training camps, like this time in Prielbrusye, but for now I don’t see the point of fielding him even for Pride rating fights. He is not yet ready for this level of competition. Ivan, unfortunately, has a tendency to do this – sometimes he is very serious and eager, and sometimes he just does it after a while. He probably thinks that you can get results by working out once in a while. He has the same problem that Alexander has. If Sanja would have been more diligent in his training he could have been a contender for the title, or at least he would have been breathing down my neck. But the fact that he only trains before fights is the reason for such unfortunate defeats,” Emelianenko Sr. said back in 2006.

Alexander, although he himself cannot boast of his athletic lifestyle, five years later called his younger brother a lazy bastard and complained that he does not want to work.

“We have the opportunity to teach him a lot. He wouldn’t have to fight his way into mixed martial arts on his own, like me or Fede. He could have been trained competently, without injuries, and he could have fought against good athletes. But Vanya can’t decide what he wants in this life,” the fighter stated.

In 2013, Fedor said that Ivan still did not go into sports professionally, but instead served in the army and went to school. According to Alexander, he still lives in Stary Oskol because he cannot find a job in the capital.

“He is the same as most of the population: no education, no knowledge, no life experience. He was once a sportsman. His highest achievement was a master of sports in combat sambo. To be an athlete you have to live the sport, be in a constant regimen, not just come to the gym and pretend you were in training. You have to live the sport,” Sport-Express quotes Alexander.

And last fall, he said that his brother was thinking about going to serve in the army under contract in the NWO zone. Allegedly for this reason he even missed his wedding. Apparently, the man chose sports after all and decided at age 35 to try professional MMA for the first time.

In the world of domestic martial arts Ivan Emelianenko’s debut was perceived without much enthusiasm. For example, Ivan Shtyrkov believes that it would not be easy for him in any case, because he hardly paid any attention to training before.

“The name Emelianenko does everything. It’s unclear whether to say thank you to Fedor for this. Or to Alexander. He used his name for good, too. He had a very, very good sports component. Of course, there was no sport in Ivan’s bout. A month beating the bag and pawing the paws and he became a fighter? I know that Ivan weighs under 92 kg,” Metaratings quotes Shtyrkov as saying.

And well-known heavyweight Sergei Kharitonov, who in his youth worked in the same team as the Emelianenko brothers, remembered Ivan as a modest, quiet young man, who did not stand out in anything and was more engaged in boxing. In turn, the president of AMC Fight Nights league Kamil Gadzhiev expressed his willingness to organize a fight for his younger brother, but not if the older one asked him not to.

“I will be uncomfortable. I will say, ‘Of course not.’ Because Fedor has had too much influence on everything that happens in Russia in MMA, on all of us, for me to refuse him anything,” admitted Gadzhiev;

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