'Not only a coach': MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko announces passing of coach Vladimir Voronov
Emelianenko has had coach Voronov by his side throughout his legendary MMA career as he became widely considered the greatest MMA heavyweight of all time.
Guided by Voronov, "The Last Emperor" captured the PRIDE FC heavyweight title and went unbeaten from 2000 to 2010 in a run of heavyweight dominance that may never be matched.
Emelianenko went on to compete for various promotions, including Strikeforce, Affliction, Fight Nights Global and, most recently, Bellator, where he is expected to end his MMA career later this year or early in 2020, with his final fight likely to take place in Russia.
But those final fights will now have to go ahead without Voronov in Emelianenko's corner after the Russian heavyweight legend announced his coach's passing on Instagram.
"My coach Vladimir Mikhailovich Voronov has died," he began.
"From childhood, Vladimir Mikhailovich was part of the family, a demanding mentor. He was always there in difficult and happy moments of my life.
"Vladimir Mikhailovich was not only a coach, but also a father to many athletes. He raised champions, strong in spirit, believed in young guys and helped them find their way in life.
"I ask for your prayers for the newly departed Vladimir. My most sincere condolences to the family and friends of Vladimir Mikhailovich."Also on rt.com UFC icon Fabricio Werdum proposes rematch with 'best of all time' Fedor Emelianenko following Fight Island win (VIDEO)