Fedor Emelianenko had an encounter with the FBI prior to his meeting with Frank Mir in the Bellator 198 headliner, according to a report from The Telegraph.
The FBI reportedly met with the Russian heavyweight during fight week after he arrived in Chicago from Amsterdam, where he held the majority of his training camp, on Tuesday. Emelianenko has ties to Russian president Vladimir Putin and United States president Donald Trump. “The Last Emperor” twice competed for the now-defunct Affliction from 2008 to 2009, an MMA organization that Trump had a hand in promoting. Michael Cohen, a lawyer for Trump who was the once the Affliction COO, has been the target of a federal investigation. Cohen’s home, hotel room and law offices were raided by the FBI earlier this month as part of a fraud investigation.
Details as to the nature of the FBI’s questioning of Emelianenko have been scarce. Emelianenko’s manager, Jerry Millen, confirmed the meeting with the Associated Press.
“The FBI came to the hotel looking to talk to Fedor and they were very nice, 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,” Millen said.
“Hundred percent, kind of surprised. They were very nice, very professional.”
Speaking with the FBI didn’t seem to have a negative effect on Emelianenko’s performance, as he scored a 48-second knockout of Frank Mir to advance to the semifinals of Bellator’s heavyweight grand prix.
“Not at all,” Emelianenko said when asked if the meeting was a distraction for him. “Everything was great. Everything was OK. Everything was good.”