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Maldonado wins WMMAA appeal but Russian MMA Union refuses to overturn Fedor result

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The World MMA Association overturned Fedor Emelianenko’s victory against Fabio Maldonado to a draw after the Brazilian filed an appeal suggesting a conflict of interest between Fedor and the officials.

Esther Lin

In a surprising turn of events, the World MMA Association (WMMAA) announced that Fedor Emelianenko's latest victory against Fabio Maldonado would be overturned to a draw after the Brazilian's appeal to the association.

Maldonado, who initially lost a majority decision to Fedor despite a dominant opening round, later appealed the decision to the Russian MMA Union. He suggested a conflict of interest between Fedor, president of the Russian MMA Union, and the officials assigned by the same union to work the fight. The union denied the appeal because the Brazilian didn't file it within 40 minutes of the decision's announcement, even though he was never informed about this particular rule. The appeal was denied by vice president Radmir Gabdullin, a former M-1 Global fighter who has a well established working relationship with Fedor.

Maldonado later took his appeal to the WMMAA, the governing body for international amateur competitions. Russia is one of the member nations involved in the WMMAA and the Russian MMA Union is the regulatory body responsible for the sport in Russia. The entity suspended Gabdullin and assigned three officials to re-evaluate the match.  The selected officials were Youri Lamoureux (CAN), Lukasz Bosacki (POL), Alexey Zemskov (RUS). All three judges offered an identical 28-28 result.

According to the WMMAA, the officials' advice to "change the result to "Unanimous Draw" will be applied by the WMMAA. This decision will be announced to Fight Nights and communicated with Fedor Emelianenko, the Russian MMA Union and Stefano Sartori. With this decision I will consider the Appeal to be official closed."

The scorecards are available below:

Fedor scorecard 1

Fedor scorecard 2

Fedor scorecard 3

The association, headed by Fedor's former manager Vadim Finkelchtein, also agreed that the heavyweight legend's position as the president of the Russian MMA Union could have brought about a conflict of interest. While they did not suggest that Fedor's position led to a different outcome in the fight, it was deemed an "unfortunate choice."

Both Fight Nights Global and Fedor have been informed about the WMMAA decision. The Russian MMA Union, however, decided not to implement the altered decision. Gabdullin informed Tass.ru that the "result cannot be overturned."

"The WMMAA can express their views, but do not have the right to influence the judge's decision on the Russian professional promotion. This situation I regard as an unfounded attempt to take away a well-deserved victory from Russian legend Fedor Emelianenko."