Heavyweight MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko has written a poignant tribute to his coach Vladimir Mikhailovich Voronov, who recently passed away.
Emelianenko, who is widely regarded as the greatest heavyweight in the history of the sport, paid his respects on Instagram.
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Умер мой тренер Владимир Михайлович Воронов. ⠀ С самого детства Владимир Михайлович был частью семьи, требовательным наставником. Он всегда был рядом в тяжёлые и счастливые моменты моей жизни. ⠀ Владимир Михайлович был не только тренером, но и отцом для многих спортсменов. Он вырастил чемпионов, сильных духом, верил в молодых ребят и помогал найти им свою дорогу в жизни. ⠀ Прошу ваших молитв о новопреставленном Владимире. Мои самые искренние соболезнования родным и близким Владимира Михайловича.
“My coach Vladimir Mikhailovich Voronov died,” Emelianenko wrote in his post (via MMA News). “From childhood, Vladimir was part of a family, a demanding mentor. He was always there for me in the darkest and happiest moments of my life. Vladimir Mikhailovich was not only a coach but a father to many athletes. He raised Champions, strong in spirit, believed in young guys and helped them find their way in life.”
“Please pray for Vladimir,” Emelianenko concluded. “My most sincere condolences to the family and friends of Vladimir Mikhailovich.”
Fedor Emelianenko last fought at Bellator 237 in December, when he knocked out a fellow legend in Quinton “Rampage” Jackson with a right cross.
In his next most recent fight, he was knocked out by Ryan Bader in a bid to capture the Bellator heavyweight title.
While the Russian legend has been able to produce some wins of late, he is nearing the end of his career, and seemingly intends to retire soon.
“My sports career is slowly nearing its conclusion, though I am looking forward to more fights. Time will tell,” Emelianenko told the Russian outlet TASS recently. “It will all depend on the way I feel and on my desire to carry on fighting.”