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Fedor's crony suspended as VP of Russian MMA Union, Maldonado's appeal lives again

The World MMA Association plans to hear Fabio Maldonado’s appeal following his controversial loss to Fedor Emelianenko at Fight Nights Global 50.

Esther Lin

It appears that Fabio Maldonado may have an opportunity to appeal his controversial loss to Fedor Emelianenko at Fight Nights Global: 50 several weeks ago.

The World MMA Association, which is the umbrella organization that controls the Russian MMA Union, announced that they would consider the Brazilian UFC veteran's appeal against the ‘Last Emperor,' and will take several measures to ensure an unbiased verdict.

According to an official statement, the WMMAA will appoint Secretary General Alexander Engelhardt to handle the appeal procedure, and appoint a group of objective international judges under the guidance of experienced referee Marco Broersen (the Netherlands). The group is to assess the fight based on the tape and render an unbiased verdict regarding the fight and the judges' work.

The WMMA also revealed that they would temporarily suspend WMMAA's head judge Radmir Gabdullin from his position. Gabdullin, who is a longtime friend and training partner of Fedor, publicly denied Maldonado's appeal to the Russian MMA Union in the fight's immediate aftermath.

You can read Maldonado's appeal below:


I am Stefano Sartori, manager of Brazilian MMA fighter Fabio Maldonado and we are writing this email to officially appeal about the result of my client fight against Fedor Emilianenko in June 17 on the Main Event of Fight Nights 50.

We watched the tape many times with cool head and we realized there is no way we lost the fight. It's either draw or Fabio's victory.

We won R1 with a clear 10-8, not to mention that everyone else in the world besides Official Referee would have stopped that fight. Fedor was tough and came back to won the R2 10-9. The last one is really close and could go either way. So it's either Fabio's victory or a draw.

We were extremely surprised to have learned that all the judges of the bout were Russian and they all are employed by non other than Fedor Emelianenko who is the president of Russian MMA Union that sanctioned these judges.
Even worse, Radmir Gabdullin who was the head judge of the bout is the Russian MMA Union's vice-president. You can see it here

If it is not a clear case of conflict of interest, I don't know what to call this. To have a fair judgement of this fight it is required to have independent international judges and that is what we claim with this official letter.

Since mister Gabdullin said to the Russian Press that he would refuse to accept our appeal and considering that we feel that Russian judges would be under too much pressure on this case, we have no other choice but to appeal to World MMA Association that is an umbrella organization with Russian MMA union being part of it.

Before finishing I want to say that I truly believe that Russian MMA Judges haven't done anything to intentionally harm my client. The conflict of interest, to my eyes, is natural when you judge someone who is personally so close to you. That's why we respectfully ask for another referee team to watch and judge this fight.

Best Regards,
Stefano Sartori

Sartori referenced the BloodyElbow article that revealed the conflict of interest in the main event. All the officials who were assigned to the EFN 50 main event, including the referee in the cage, were working a fight for their boss. Fedor eventually won a majority decision (29-28,28-28,29-28), even though most believed the fight was a draw at best.