‘I’ll knock him out with one punch’: Kadyrov makes Emelianenko vow as Chechen strongman spars ahead of possible fight (VIDEO)
Kadyrov recently called out Emelianenko – the younger brother of MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko – saying he fancied his chances against the veteran of more than 30 professional fights.
Emelianenko, who at 38 is five years Kadyrov’s junior, subsequently said he would be keen to step between the ropes with the Chechen leader, potentially setting up what would be one of the most intriguing bouts the combat sports world has ever seen.
The leader of Russia's Chechen Republic has now upped the ante even further, posting footage of himself sparring with former UFC fighter Abdul-Kerim Edilov as he steps up his training.
Kadyrov, 43, is seen pounding the treadmill and working out, before taking to the cage to spar with Edilov, catching the ex-UFC man with several shots before facing a second sparring partner.
In the comments to the footage Kadyrov fired a warning to the 6ft 4in Emelianenko, vowing he would “knock him out with one punch.”
“Alexander Emelianenko is a strong, determined and experienced fighter. He has great potential, he gained good skills at Akhmat fighting club [in Grozny],” Kadyrov wrote.
“Everyone knows that I offered to fight him in a boxing match. As you can see, I’m not sitting idle.
“Even though it’s the buildup to New Year, I’m preparing actively, training. I’m sparring with Abdul-Kerim Edilov – (who is) a Russian, world and Moscow champion and a UFC fighter.
“He has great coaching skills and is also about the same height as Emelianenko. I’m not hiding any of my fighting tactics.
“I’ll land a single decisive punch in the middle of the fifth round. It will be the winning punch. I advise my friend Alexander Emelianenko, knowing in advance how I’ll fight, to prepare actively.
“I invite my followers to guess what type of punch it will be – to the head or to the body!”
Emelianenko last fought in November when he knocked out Russian powerlifter Mikhail Koklyaev in the first round of a boxing bout in Moscow, which many decried as a farce.
Lesser known than his brother Fedor, who’s considered an MMA icon, Alexander has spent time behind bars in what has been a fighting career disrupted by troubles outside the cage.
His lengthy criminal record includes a conviction for the 2015 rape of a house maid, for which he received a four-and-a-half year prison sentence.Also on rt.com MMA fighter Emelianenko arrested for drunk driving after ramming his Mercedes into 2 cars (VIDEO)
In March of this year, Emelianenko was arrested for drunk driving after ramming two vehicles in his all-gold Mercedes in the Russian resort city of Kislovodsk
His brother Fedor, who recently defeated ex-UFC lightweight champion Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson at Bellator 237 in Japan, said he will “pray that he [Alexander] will come back to life and be found."Also on rt.com Fedor Emelianenko on his troubled brother Alexander: 'I pray he will finally find himself'
Despite his woes, Alexander Emelianenko has still fought in promotions including PRIDE, picking up 28 wins in his pro career.
The Russian Boxing Federation has already said it would be prepared to sanction a bout with Kadyrov, who boasts no professional fighting experience but has a keen interest in combat sports.
Should the Chechen strongman step into the ring with Emelianenko, it would certainly represent one of the most unusual – and potentially entertaining – bouts of 2020.