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Fedor Emelianenko Honored in His Russian Homeland

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Fedor Emelianenko posing with Vladimir Putin, Jean Claude Van Damme, Italian PM Berlusconi and his brother Aleks.
Fedor Emelianenko posing with Vladimir Putin, Jean Claude Van Damme, Italian PM Berlusconi and his brother Aleks.

One thing that M-1 Global does seem to have succeeded in doing is making Fedor Emelianenko much better known in his Russian homeland. Fanhouse reports:

In a ceremony to honor Russia's top athletes, Fedor Emelianenko was honored as the best male athlete alongside top-ranked tennis player Svetlana Kuznetsova, who was the best female athlete of 2009. Over 500,000 votes were cast for the awards, according to Russia Today.

More on Fedor's exposure in Russia from Sherdog:

"The main event of Fedor vs. Rogers reached an impressive 5.46 million viewers in the United States on the CBS Network," said the release. "The fight was also broadcast in Fedor's native Russia by ‘Channel 1,' Russia's largest television network, and reached 16 million viewers in Fedor's home country. In addition, ‘Fedor vs. Rogers' was broadcast to millions of viewers in Korea on SBS, one of the three major national South Korean networks, as well as television networks in China, Latin America, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Ukraine, Finland, Africa, Turkey, Israel, Indonesia, Bulgaria, Romania, and Malta. Live internet streams of the ‘Fedor vs. Rogers' bout generated ground-breaking viewer numbers in Japan and all over the world and these numbers continue to grow through Video on Demand."

In Russia, Emelianenko's bout was broadcasted on a four-hour delay at 12:00 p.m. by the free, government-run channel, which reaches approximately 120 million homes.

Jake Rossen rightly pointed out that there is some fudging of the numbers going on, but it's indisputable that Fedor is better known in his homeland only a few months of working with M-1 and Strikeforce than he became in a decade of fighting in Japan.