Fedor Emelianenko is one of 58 candidates named in a Russian internal election primary for the United Russian Party in the Belgorod region, according to M-1 Global officials. The June 25 primary elections are a first step to identifying one candidate to represent the party later in national elections against other party nominees for a seat in the country's regional Parliament.
The 33-year-old Emelianenko was nominated along with other notable politicians, including Belgorod Region Governor Yevgeny Savchenko and Belgorod Senator and State Duma Deputy Andrei Scotch. The worldвЂ™s No. 1 heavyweight is among 24 new candidates added to the partyвЂ™s primary ballot in that region this year.
Evgeni Kogan, M-1 GlobalвЂ™s Director of Operations, said Emelianenko was flattered by the nomination, which will in no way interfere with his fight career.
вЂњHe will easily be able to do both,вЂќ said Kogan via e-mail. вЂњThere has never been talk of one replacing the other.вЂќ
Emelianenko faces former top five UFC heavyweight Fabricio Werdum at Strikeforce вЂњFedor vs. WerdumвЂќ on June 26 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.
Three-time Olympic wrestling gold medalist Alexander Karelin, also nominated by the United Russian Party, is currently a member of RussiaвЂ™s Parliament.
Editor's Note: This article was corrected at 3:30 p.m. EST to reflect that Emelianenko has been nominated for Parliament and not a Senate position.