Fedor Emelianenko is a Russian heavyweight mixed martial arts (MMA) champion who was previously a featured fighter in a failed MMA company partially backed by Trump.
In 2008, Trump partnered with a California-based apparel company to form Affliction Entertainment, an MMA company for which Michael Cohen served as the COO. Emelianenko was hired as the star fighter. Trump indicated that in addition to staging events, the partnership would include a reality-television show. Trump also claimed he would visit St. Petersburg for the filming of this show, which would be centered around Emelianenko; however, these plans ultimately fell through. Affliction Entertainment folded in 2009 after two events, and Emelianenko reportedly sued the venture in California federal court. Putin is a fan of Emelianenko, who campaigned for him in 2012. Putin named him to a presidential sports and fitness council, and the two have appeared in public together numerous times. On April 29, 2018, it was reported that FBI agents had questioned Emilianenko. (Photo by Yuri Smityuk/TASS via Getty Images)