The controversial brother of one of the greatest heavyweight fighters ever has returned to the cage.
Just two years after a sexual assault conviction landed him in a Russian prison, Alexander Emelianenko, the younger brother of Pride FC legend Fedor Emelianenko, returned to mixed martial arts for the first time since 2014 on Wednesday, taking on veteran Geronimo Dos Santos in a heavyweight bout at WFCA 42 in Moscow, Russia.
The event was staged by Akhmat Fight Club, the promotion led by Chechen warlord Ramzan Kadyrov, whose oppressive regime in the Russian republic of Chechnya has allegedly carried out a number of atrocities against gay men in the region.
Kadyrov was the subject of an eye-opening Real Sports piece in August which detailed his efforts to use MMA as a means to further his abhorrent agenda and consolidate power. In the piece, Kadyrov said he would “condone” violence against homosexuals and scoffed at the widespread reports of kidnapping, torturing and murder of homosexuals in Chechnya.
Emelianenko was sentenced to 4-1/2 years in prison in 2015 after being found guilty on charges that he assaulted and raped his housekeeper, Polina Stepanova, then seized her passport. However, he ultimately only served a small portion of that sentence, as Emelianenko was released from prison on parole in late 2016 for “good behavior.”
At the time, it was believed to be only a matter of time before Emelianenko (24-7) found his way back into MMA, and he did just that on Wednesday, making quick work of Dos Santos to score a first-round TKO and pick up his first victory since 2013.
Video of Emelianenko’s win can be seen below.