MARKHAM, Ontario, Canada -- Known across the world and considered by many to be the best fighter in the sport of mixed martial arts today, Russian star Fedor Emelianenko of M-1 Global has partnered with Round 5, the leader in collectible MMA figurines, to create a piece to be made available later this year.
The heavyweight joins an All-Star lineup of 12 MMA standouts who currently work with Round 5 to produce their respective figures.
The announcement comes on the heels of last week’s notice that stars Andrei "The Pit Bull" Arlovski -- Fedor’s opponent in this Saturday’s Affliction "Day of Reckoning" event -- will be one of four stars to be featured in Round 5’s Series 3 release this spring, along with "Big John" McCarthy, Frank Mir and Antonio Rodrigo "Minotauro" Nogueira. Series 3 is scheduled to be available at retail outlets throughout North America and online at www.Round5MMA.com beginning in April.
Fedor and the Round 5 team will begin work on creating his figurine in the coming weeks. The Fedor figures will be part of a future Series issue to be determined.
"This is a tremendous opportunity for me," said Emelianenko. "I am looking forward to going through the process of making this the best figurine that we can. I think fans will appreciate that I will have a big role in how it looks and will enjoy the final product."
"We are thrilled to be working with Fedor to customize this superstar’s figurine," said Damon Lau, Round 5 President. "His worldwide popularity and recognition as the world’s best mixed martial artist make him a natural to make a high-quality collectible that his many fans can enjoy. The timing of his signing is perfect, too, as he will be competing in the highly-anticipated bout with another Round 5 athlete in Andrei Arlovski this weekend."
Emelianenko, 32, has been the most dominant MMA heavyweight this decade. He enters the bout with Arlovski with a record of 28-1, including 25 straight victories dating back to December 2000. A long-time PRIDE champion, he won his Affliction debut by submitting Tim Sylvia just 36 seconds into the first round in his last action this past July.
Other MMA stars who have worked with Round 5 include Randy Couture, Matt Hughes, Quinton ‘Rampage' Jackson and Tito Ortiz (Series 1); and Rich Franklin, Sean Sherk, Anderson Silva and Wanderlei Silva (Series 2).
As in the earlier Series, Fedor will maintain creative control of his likenesses, including the pose, facial design and shorts. He will have a major hand in creating the final design and will benefit from a royalty agreement that gives him a considerable portion of the proceeds from the sale of his unit.
Round 5 collectible figures may be purchased at leading retailers such as Toys ‘R’ Us, Champs Sports and FYE. Other retailers can be found at www.Round5MMA.com/wheretobuy.php.
In addition to Fedor, Round 5 plans to release collectibles of three additional series of athletes in 2009, one during each quarter. Other athletes to be represented in those series are yet to be announced.