Aleksander Emelianenko's MMA comeback continues with a fight in Grozny, Chechnya against Virgil Zwicker on December 16th. The little brother of Fedor Emelianenko is looking to follow up on a quick KO win over Geronimo Dos Santos from the end of September. That bout was his first fight in over three years due to a prison sentence for rape.
Aleksander was a fan favorite for years during the PRIDE era and managed to carve out an impressive record for himself even when compared to Fedor, known then and now as one of the greatest heavyweights of all time. But things started to fall apart for the younger Emelianenko when a pre-fight medical for Affliction: Day of Reckoning in 2008 reportedly showed he had hepatitis.
Emelianenko hasn't fought outside Russia or the Caucasus since. In 2010 Polish promotion KSW signed Aleksander and then quickly dropped him, repeating the hepatitis claim. None of this stopped Emelianenko from finding promotions to book him, and he went 9-4 in the period leading up to his arrest for raping his housemaid. The courts found him guilty of the charges and sentenced him to four and a half years, but he was released three years early for 'good behavior.'
Most recently, the Emelianenko brothers got into a public spat with Fedor calling his brother a Judas and Aleks claimed his brother was surrounded by users and sycophants. According to Aleks, the two have not had a speaking relationship for 10 years.
It all adds up to a situation where it’s pretty much impossible to cheer on Aleksander Emelianenko. As if there wasn't already enough controversy surrounding his upcoming fight, there's also the fact that it's being promoted by Akhmat Fight Club, the promotion of Chechyan dictator Ramzan Kadyrov. Kadyrov’s regime has been accused of rounding up and killing gay people, but that hasn’t stopped prominent fighters like Fabricio Werdum from continuing to associate with him.