MOSCOW, November 29 (R-Sport) – Mixed martial arts fighter Alexander Emelianenko will use his ties with the Russian criminal underworld to get his ill-wishers shot, he told R-Sport in an interview Friday.
The lurid warning came after Emelianenko had a lucrative contract terminated by his MMA promotion company Legend, which claimed he was "unprofessional" and unprepared for a bout with Croatian fighter Mirko Filipovic on November 8.
The head of the company, Ruslan Suleymanov, claimed Emelianenko had to flee Amsterdam where he was preparing for the fight, after beating up French patrons of a hotel, and then asked to postpone the bout after being shot in the arm.
Emelianenko claimed Suleymanov simply would not agree to his contract terms and dreamed up the scandals as an excuse to tear up the deal. He also accused his former manager Vadim Finkelstein, who said that Emelianenko was an alcoholic, for further attempts to sully his reputation.
"I have my bandits," the 32-year-old Emelianenko told R-Sport in a telephone interview. Referring to his ill-wishers, though not explicitly by name, he said: "They will [profanity] me over for only so long, and then I will shoot them all."
"Suleymanov is a liar," Emelianenko said. "He lied in order to cast a shadow on me. Suleymanov should have his mouth shut for him, and no one should speak with him at all."
In response, Suleymanov said he had no intention of spoiling Emelianenko’s reputation.
"I leave without comments Sasha’s claims that he will engage criminals to deal with me and my colleague Vadim Finkelstein," Suleymanov told R-Sport. "These are not our methods, but it looks like Alexander’s. Let it rest on his conscience and open people’s eyes in Russia so that they see and understand what this man is like."
Earlier this month Emelianenko, the younger brother of the more decorated MMA fighter and champion Fedor Emelianenko, reached an out-of-court settlement with an elderly man who was hospitalized after a brawl with the fighter in a Moscow cafe in October.
Emelianenko is currently preparing for his fight against American mixed martial artist Eric Prindle that is set to take place on December 22 in the Siberian city of Tyumen.
"I'm very close to my optimal shape, today I've beaten three boxers," Emelianenko said. "I'm focusing on the kicking technique, because I know he [Prindle] is a boxer. I won't wrestle with him."
Emelianenko has a 23-6 career win-loss record.