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Fedor Emelianenko confirms FBI interest, denies he’s a Russian spy

Rumors have been swirling all week that the FBI had taken an interest in Emelianenko and Fedor discussed what happened after his Bellator 198 win.

Emperor Fedor ESTHER LIN

Fedor Emelianenko is famous for being unflappable in the face of adversity, so it should be no surprise that having several FBI agents following him around leading up to Bellator 198 didn’t bother him at all. Several news outlets shared reports that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had interviewed the heavyweight GOAT contender and were in attendance in Chicago for his victory over Frank Mir on Saturday night.

Emelianenko’s American agent and former PRIDE FC exec Jerry Millen confirmed the FBI’s interest in Fedor but refused to go deeper into detail.

“The FBI came to the hotel looking to talk to Fedor and they were very nice,” he told the Washington Post. “Came in to speak with Fedor for a few minutes, spoke to me, very cool guys, and that’s all I can really say about it. Again, the FBI did come to the hotel, they found us, knocked on the door. Hundred percent, kind of surprised. They were very nice, very professional.”

After the event, Emelianenko confirmed the story and denied they were a distraction.

“Not at all,” he said through his translator (video via MMA Junkie). “Everything was great. Everything was OK. Everything was good.”

For good measure, Fedor also denied the idea that the FBI considered him a spy with a laugh.

Much of the speculation surrounding the FBI has focused on Fedor’s ties to Russian president Vladamir Putin and American president Donald Trump. Putin is a big fight fan and friend of Emelianenko. Trump famously represented Affliction Entertainment back in 2009 when Fedor was the company’s big star. The promotion’s COO? Trump lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen, who is at the center of the Stormy Daniels cover up scandal and recently found himself raided by the FBI.

If the FBI really is talking to Emelianenko regarding Trump and Cohen, they’re certainly leaving no stone unturned in their investigation of the US leader and his cohorts. But that’s not the only possibility. Others have wondered whether the FBI’s presence in the Allstate Arena on Saturday pointed towards a possibly threat against Fedor from unknown parties. In 2016 reports surfaced that Fedor’s daughter had been assaulted by associates of Chechen dictator Ramzan Kadyrov.

Whatever the case, Emelianenko stayed focused on his fight with Frank Mir and dispatched the former UFC champion just 48 seconds into a back and forth brawl. Other than an early barrage from Mir, no other threats materialized and Fedor will return to Russian unmolested by mysterious parties and the FBI.

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