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Aleksander Emelianenko victorious at M-1 Challenge 9 with first round KO

Aleksander Emelianenko, former PRIDE heavyweight and little brother of WAMMA heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko, blasted his way to a first round KO victory over South Korea's Sang Soo Lee earlier today at M-1 Challenge 9 in St. Petersburg, Russia as reported on .

The win raises Emelianenko's already impressive record to 14-3 and marks his fifth straight first-round stoppage and second under the M-1 banner this year.

Fight fans have been clamoring to see the Lil' Emperor make his Stateside debut, and almost got their wish back in July of 2007 at Affliction: 'Banned' where Emelianenko was set to debut against Paul "Fear the sound of crickets" Buentello.

Unfortunately Emelianenko was not medically cleared to fight by the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) and was replaced last-minute by the dependable but increasingly fragile Gary Goodridge.

Emelianenko downplayed the denial of his license, chalking it up to a case of missed deadlines and simple oversights. Due to California’s very strict medical privacy laws, the CSAC was not able to elaborate on the specifics.

That didn't stop the MMA community from doing its share of speculating. Everything from hepatitis to a brain aneurysm — even total heart failure — was offered as a possible cause.

Whatever the case was, Emelianenko doesn't seem to have any problems fighting (and winning) behind the iron curtain. Soo Lee (10-4) was a formidable opponent, and Emelianenko's victory over him avenges the loss of fellow Red Devil combatant Roman "Meal" Zentsov, who fell to the South Korean at M-1 Challenge Korea back in August.

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