Bellator heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko was visited by the Feds in the days leading into his Grand Prix bout against Frank Mir, according to multiple sources.
Emelianenko, who has arrived in Chicago on Tuesday for Saturday’s Bellator 198, was greeted by FBI agents at the hotel he was staying in, who were looking to speak with the legendary Russian fighter.
Fedor’s manager, Jerry Millen, described the situation to the Associated Press (Quotes via MMA Fighting):
“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 One hundred percent, (we were) kind of surprised. They were very nice, very professional.”
Thus far, sources close to the situation say Emelianenko is not under any kind of investigation, and it remains unclear exactly what the FBI wanted to ask Fedor. However, the PRIDE FC legend is extremely close with Russian president Vladimir Putin. In fact, Putin is at nearly every Emelianenko fight, especially those in Russia or abroad. The two have been seen together on many occasions, and it appears Fedor is a relatively close associate of the controversial Russian president.
With tensions between Russia and the U.S. simmering again and accusations of Russian interference in both Trump and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaigns, the FBI may have a vested interest in Fedor’s North American dealings. The FBI declined to comment, of course.
President Trump and Fedor actually have some history together. Back during the Affliction days, when Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen was the COO of the promotion, Emelianenko fought for the Trump and Mark Cuban-owned Affliction.
Maybe that’s why he made such quick work of Frank Mir on Saturday night’s main event because Emelianenko fought like a man who had a plane to catch.