Fedor the Politician?
From the USA Today:
Perhaps mixed martial arts' Last Emperor wants a taste of Russian democracy.
Fedor Emelianenko -- seen here after his November fight in Hoffman Estates, Ill. -- has never been shy about his Russian pride.
CAPTIONBy Paul Beaty, AP
Fedor "The Last Emperor" Emelianenko wants to run for office in his home country, according to a Russian news site. The consensus No. 1 heavyweight is one of 58 candidates on the United Russia party's primary ballot for the regional legislature of Russia's Belgorod province, which includes his hometown of Stary Oskol, more than 380 miles south of Moscow. The original May 28 article from the bel.ru site is in Russian, but according to a rough Google translation:
Among the most notable candidates, in addition to the deputies obldumy (Anatolia Zelikow, Victor Filatov, Vadim Cage, Valeria Skruga, Ivan Kulabuhova, Vladimir Kulikovsky): a famous athlete Fedor Emelianenko; the new rector of Belarusian State Technological University Sergey Glagolev (by the way, non-partisan); director of the Institute of Public and municipal government BSU Alexander Mamatov.
Bel.ru's report was picked up on Thursday by the Russian site of Emelianenko's management company and main promoter, M-1 Global. Middle Easy was one of the first English-language sites to notice.
The Middle Easy item also mentions a rumor that Emelianenko plans to retire after his Strikeforce deal runs out, but there is "no truth whatsoever" to that notion, according to Evgeni Kogan, M-1's director of global operations.
"He may run (for political office), that is true," Kogan said in an e-mail to USA TODAY. "But there is no truth to the retirement rumors."
United Russia is the country's dominant political party at the moment. Its strong embrace of Russian nationalism would seem to fit Emelianenko, who uses a Russian folk song as his entrance theme and has spoken publicly about his patriotism and Orthodox Christian belief.
"I am a representative of my country," said in an interview with a Ukrainian news outlet earlier this year. "I am proud to be Russian."
Emelianenko isn't the first mixed martial artist with political ambitions. Matt Lindland made an unsuccessful bid for a state legislative seat in Oregon; one of his colleagues at Team Quest, Chael Sonnen, currently is running for the state Legislature in another district.
Will the rest of the world be forced to humble themselves before Emperor Fedor once he rises to power?
I know his camp is denying the retirement rumors, but I think it would be the right thing for him. Win a couple more fights, then call it a career. I think he's tired of fighting. If he's got his mind on other things like politics, it's a good sign he's losing focus and losses will be on the horizon.
Well, I will be sad if he really retires, but considering what he accomplished in the past years, he certainly can do so without any regrets.
I for one welcome our new Russian cyborg overlord.