Maldonado’s Appeal Still Alive After Fedor’s Judge Friend Gets Ousted


Legendary heavyweight Fedor “The Last Emperor” Emelianenko was nearly finished in the first round of his main event fight with ex-UFC light heavyweight Fabio Maldonado at June 17’s EFN 50. Emelianenko, bloodied and battered, would ultimately recover and fight back to earn a questionable decision victory.

Many had felt as if Maldonado had gotten the better of Emelianenko, and the situation became ever more skeptical when it was revealed that the referee and judges controlling the fight were from the Russian MMA union, which is headed by non-other than “The Last Emperor” himself.

In the aftermath of the controversial decision, it has been made clear that Maldonado will fight the verdict. Check out the full appeal from the Brazilian slugger below:


I am Stefano Sartori, manager of Brazilian MMA fighter Fabio Maldonado and we are writing this email to officially appeal about the result of my client fight against Fedor Emilianenko in June 17 on the Main Event of Fight Nights 50.

We watched the tape many times with cool head and we realized there is no way we lost the fight. It’s either draw or Fabio’s victory.

We won R1 with a clear 10-8, not to mention that everyone else in the world besides Official Referee would have stopped that fight. Fedor was tough and came back to won the R2 10-9. The last one is really close and could go either way. So it’s either Fabio’s victory or a draw.

We were extremely surprised to have learned that all the judges of the bout were Russian and they all are employed by non other than Fedor Emelianenko who is the president of Russian MMA Union that sanctioned these judges.
Even worse, Radmir Gabdullin who was the head judge of the bout is the Russian MMA Union’s vice-president. You can see it here

If it is not a clear case of conflict of interest, I don’t know what to call this. To have a fair judgement of this fight it is required to have independent international judges and that is what we claim with this official letter.

Since mister Gabdullin said to the Russian Press that he would refuse to accept our appeal and considering that we feel that Russian judges would be under too much pressure on this case, we have no other choice but to appeal to World MMA Association that is an umbrella organization with Russian MMA union being part of it.

Before finishing I want to say that I truly believe that Russian MMA Judges haven’t done anything to intentionally harm my client. The conflict of interest, to my eyes, is natural when you judge someone who is personally so close to you. That’s why we respectfully ask for another referee team to watch and judge this fight.

Best Regards,
Stefano Sartori

Given that Emelianenko has inside connections with the Russian MMA union, it may seem as if Maldonado has no chance with his appeal, but that may not be the case. The World MMA Association, which controls the Russian MMA union, has made a noteworthy decision that should keep Maldonado’s appeal live.

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According to a statement, the WMMA, who recently accepted the Brazilian’s appeal, stated that they will be temporarily suspending head judge Radmir Gabdullin from his position. Gabdullin, who happens to be a close friend and former training partner of Emelianenko’s, previously denied the appeal attempt.

Stay tuned to LowKickMMA as more news unfolds on the situation?