On Sunday evening, the Hilary Clinton campaign released a six-minute report on Republican candidate Donald Trump’s ties to the Russian Federation ahead of the election. Among the evidence featured in the six-minute clip as an example is MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko.
The video titled ‘Russia First’ addresses Trump’s questionable financial and political ties to Russia. “Imagine a candidate for president of the United States with suspicious and undisclosed ties to a foreign country?” began the video. The clip went on to mention Trump’s seemingly suspicious staff and his attempted business dealings in Russia.
The Clinton campaign referenced Trump’s foreign policy views on NATO and Crimea, as well as his attempt to build a Trump Towers in Russia and a “deal with Putin’s favorite mixed martial arts fighter.”
The more important question: how much is Russia invested in Trump? pic.twitter.com/NEy0yG2tWk— The Briefing (@TheBriefing2016) October 16, 2016
The aforementioned “deal” was Trump’s involvement in Affliction Entertainment, the now-defunct promotion that lasted one year and four days. The promotion was a joint effort between Oscar de la Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions, Russian MMA organization M-1 Global and major shareholder Trump. The promotion lasted two events, both headlined by Emelianenko (who won in a combined four minutes), before it went under ahead of the third show.
Trump planned to start a reality TV show during Affliction’s run called ‘Fighting Fedor,’ which would have coincided with his planned visit to Russia at the time. However, when the promotion went under, plans for the show fizzled. The promotion’s financial troubles were in part due to the Russian heavyweight’s compensation for fighting in Affliction. According to Politico, Fedor's contract with M-1 Global was a lucrative $300,000 per bout plus a $1.2 million consulting fee.
Trump did not visit Russia during his affiliation with Affliction. His “deal” with Fedor was actually a partnership with an American promotion that had a single Russian investor, promoter Vadim Finkelchtein. There is no evidence that firmly links Trump to Putin through Fedor, though it remains unclear whether that was Trump’s end-game.