Fedor falls in sambo tourney
Fedor Emelianenko, the consensus No. 1 heavyweight in the world, was an interested onlooker in Saturday night’s Randy Couture vs. Brock Lesnar match. Ever since Couture won the heavyweight title from Tim Sylvia in 2007, both Couture and Emelianenko had talked of doing a fight, which garnered more talk when Couture quit UFC partially over an attempt to make a fight.
With Lesnar as champion, Emelianenko and his Russian promoters, M-1, issued a grandstand challenge (a term for a fight that everyone knows politically can’t happen), for a match against the massive former pro wrestler.
Emelianenko (28-1) has a career record of 11-1 against former or current pro wrestlers in Japan, including his lone fluke loss to Tsuyoshi Kosaka.
Less than 24 hours after Couture’s loss, Emelianenko, in his original sport of combat sambo, found himself defeated for the first time in eight years by Bulgaria’s Blagoy Ivanov, who went on to win the world championship.
“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.”
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