RT reports that MMA icon Fedor Emelianenko, 44, has been released from hospital after receiving treatment for COVID-19. Emelianenko spent less than a week at Moscow’s Clinical Hospital No. 52; a facility that specializes in combating the coronavirus.
When news broke that Emelianenko required hospitalization the former PRIDE heavyweight champion released the following statement:
“Thanks to all who are genuinely concerned for my health. I feel fine, I am going into recovery. I’m grateful to the doctors and medical staff for their care and hard work.”
According to the Associated Press Russian officials revealed that 116,030 people died of COVID-19 in that country between the outset of the pandemic and December 2020.
However, AP pointed out that—based on statements made by Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova— 186,000 Russians might have died of coronavirus during that period.
That outlet also reported that many critics of Russia have accused the country of playing down the severity of COVID-19 and presenting falsified reports on the number of deaths in the country.
Emelianenko is a national hero in Russia and a staff member of that country’s Presidential Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. Emelianenko also serves as a deputy for the regional parliament in Belgorod Oblast.
His last MMA fight was a TKO win over Quinton Jackson at Bellator 237 in December 2019. After that fight Emelianenko claimed he was still planning to fight two more times before calling it a career. After Bellator 237 Emelianenko claimed he wanted to fight once more in the United States before having a retirement fight in Russia.
Emelianenko joined Bellator in 2017 and has gone 3-2 in that promotion with wins over Frank Mir and Chael Sonnen (both by TKO). Prior to joining Bellator ‘The Last Emperor’ was on a five fight winning streak with wins over Jeff Monson, Pedro Rizzo and (controversially) Fabio Maldonando.
That run of wins came after a three fight losing streak that signalled the end of Emelianenko’s reputation as the most feared fighter on the planet. After a 28-fight unbeaten run through the early 2000s, he lost to Fabricio Werdum, by submission, in Strikeforce on June 26 2010. He then lost to Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva and Dan Henderson, both by TKO, also in Strikeforce.