In light of the upcoming SF tournament and Fedor's return from his first legitimate loss, i am linking up a very cool story from headkicklegend about a man who was once a thorn on Fedor's side. A few years back I had heard a vague rumor about this but i figured it was just fringe forum talk until this story was posted. I being a big fan, of such peripheral stories and fringe characters that always seem to hang around MMA, figured it would be a shame if more didn't know about it.
Here is a link and props to Mike Hackler over at headkicklegend.
Russia's Secret Weapon - The Man that Beat Fedor Twice - Pride Secret File
The man who was named "one in six billion, the strongest man in the world", Fedor Emelianenko, who had success against many veterans and champions in PRIDE. With such strength, which was recognizable even as PRIDE gave him the toughest opponents in the world, he beat his opponents, such as Antonio Rodrigo Nogueria and Mirko Crocop, but no one appeared tough enough to ever challenge him.
However, there was a man that had beaten Fedor twice, and this fighter had been preparing to fight in PRIDE.
The start of this was in 2003, when something happened that also had a huge impact on the MMA world later on, Fedor's shocking move from Russian Top Team to the Red Devil Team.
The Red Devil MMA organization, M-1, was being held and had connections with Bodog, M-1 GLobal, Affliction, and other American promotions. Fedor was also going into the M-1 ring. If Fedor had not moved to Red Devil, the break the MMA world received may not have happened.
It is said that the reason Fedor departed RTT was related to money. According to Fedor, "RTT President Pogodin deceived us." Pogodin, more than just a businessman, was more of an old fashioned gangster type, and the new generation of Russians, including Fedor, must have had a clash with his type.
In any case, Fedor started down a new path. And to RTT, he was a complete and utter traitor. Fedor, who was a judoka and samboist, came to be a pro through Volk Hari (of RTT).
When he took the heavyweight championship from Nogueria, RTT leader Nikolai Zuev had been there in the beginning of the planning of the bout.
To RTT, it was as if Fedor had forgotten about his roots and showed no gratitude to RTT..
The RTT team members anger was horrific, Hari said, "Obliterate Fedor" - making a declaration of war against him, saying "Russians take care of Russians".
The front-runner candidate was Sergei Kharitonov. Hari and Zuev gave everything to Kharitonov. They instructed him with new techniques that they had never shown to Fedor. Kharitonov was given the responsibility from RTT of KO'ing Fedor. (At this time Kharitonov had also left RTT now training with Golden Glory).
But, as the "Russian chosen to take care of a Russian", Kharitonov was not the only one, RTT had prepared one more "assassin". That person you could say, was Fedor's natural enemy.
The man's name was Suren Balachinskiy A two-time world champion in sambo, he was the strongest of the strong. He began sambo at the age of 9 and joined a special sambo school (Sambo 70) at age 11. He had beaten Russian judo champions and represented Russia in the Olympics strengthening the sambo team, a truly great career.
And Balachinskly had one more part of his career that cannot be overlooked. He beat Fedor twice in sambo.
Even after Fedor had started having success, Balachinskly was constantly talked about as an "outstanding talent surpassing Fedor".
It is said that Fedor, living in Star Oskol, a small rural town, cried over a decision loss at a judo event. Balachinskly was an elite in the fight world. Of course, Fedor was an accomplished judoka and samboist at the top level, but in the immediate environment and looking at their match results, it was Balachinskly that was the leader.
During the time when he was also with RTT, Balachinskly must have been like the bright sun in Fedor's eyes.
Balachinskly and Fedor were connected in one other way. The era of RINGS Russia. RINGS founder Akira Maeda went to Russia in search of new fighters and had tryouts. Both Fedor and pre-pro debut Balachinskly were there.
Maeda rated Balachinskly the highest in terms of his fighting. Fedor was rated as "with some adjustments, he might shine, a runner up". This can also be seen in the difference in treatment they both got in their Japanese pro debuts.
Balachinskly was given a fight in the main event of the RINGS KOK Tournament. As the "the second man" Fedor, he was put in an event that was basically a gateway to success for novice fighters, Battle Genesis. Fedor's natural enemy had steadily been preparing to fight in PRIDE in 2004. He had lost to Valentjin Overeem in RINGS KOK, but this was due to a low kick to his knee which was previously injured. More so, All-Russian Sambo Federation president Tkhomirov's knowledge of MMA was rather lacking, and he sent Balanchinskly to Japan basically without ever training for MMA.
To make his pro comeback, and to obliterate traitor Fedor, a perfect training camp was created for him. His sparring partner was Kharitonov. His coach was one of the original Russian Vale Tudo practitioners, Mikhail Illoukhine, and he was also under the direct instruction of Volk Hari.
Balanchinskly had also made a confident statement that, "I won't think about fighting in PRIDE until I am the strongest man", and he was then put on the list of fighters to fight at PRIDE 28 in October of 2004.
Once again, though, his old injuries got in his way and his appearance was cancelled. After that, he missed his chances to fight, and at some point, he just disappeared.
What if Balanchinskly had fought in PRIDE? And what if a fight between him and Fedor had been made, what would have happened?
Comparing their MMA technique alone, Fedor probably would have won. It is said that from his youth, Fedor had almost an inferiority complex concerning Balanchinskly.
The fact that he had already lost to him twice, feeling weak seeing him on the elite path in fighting, and seeing Hari in Balanchinskly's corner might have created enough of a distraction to cool the Last Emperor.