The bout between the MMA’s most famous brothers, Fedor and Aleksandr Emelianenko, has become the highlight of the Russian combat sambo championship.
Fedor Emelianenko has always been the greatest ambassador of the sport he came from, which is sambo.
Last weekend was a real treat, as the Last Emperor of mixed martial arts came back to the competition he had won six times before, the Russian Combat Sambo Championships.
In front of a home crowd in Moscow, the 35-year-old was going for his seventh domestic title.
“I need to have a rest now, ahead of a few more fights I'll have tonight,” Fedor told RT after his opening bout. “I would like to thank my opponent. It was nice to get back to the mat for a competitive fight. And I won, thank God.”
And the most anticipated fight of the event was simply inevitable. In the final of the heavyweight class, Fedor faced his younger brother, four-time Russian champion Aleksandr – a man, who has also earned big respect in the global MMA arena.
Some might have been looking to see a rumble, but were left with just a seven-second master-class.
“Yes, many expected an exciting fight – two brothers who've never fought against each other before,” Aleksandr Konakov, the Russian combat sambo team’s head coach, said. “But they came out and produced an elegant finale for the competition. The younger brother gave in to the elder one in a very dignified way.”
However, the event saw no lack of tough action, with the superlight weight final being a solid example of that.
Despite being exhausted by flu and a high temperature and having already won the title three times before, Ali Bagautinov held on to the end, to lift his fourth domestic crown.
“It was a home event for me, as I came from the famous Sambo-70 training school, based here in Moscow,” he said. “So, I felt a great responsibility. I had to win.”
Sambo is a martial art similar to judo developed by the Soviet military. The word itself is an acronym, which literally translates to "self-defense without weapons."