Feature on Fedor ahead of tonight's event:


The first thing you notice is his smile - a warm and genuine expression that appears eternal.

Behind the smile is a lifeís worth of toil and accomplishment.

To share a moment with him has become the joyful pleasure of such luminaries as Vladimir Putin, Oscar de la Hoya and Donald Trump - while sharing a ring with him has been as futile as the air of inevitability that precedes his contests.

For The Last Emperor is blessed by the divine hand.

Fedor Emelianenko, 32, has tormented the fight gameís most eminent heavyweights for as long as heís competed.

The much-admired Russian has been the sportís standard-bearer for the best part of the decade and recognised by most as the premier force in the division since capturing the PRIDE heavyweight title from then-champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueria in 2003.

Fedor has since been anointed as everyoneís top heavyweight in the world. At least by those who practice rational thinking.

The former RINGS star will go down as an all-time great. Pound-for-pound rankings and other accolades may come and go but the Rubizhne, Ukraine native has already established himself as a fighter for the ages.

Now the all-conquering Emelianenko, a national idol in his homeland and a much revered figure in Japan, has his sights set on finally endearing himself to the American public.

The money-strewn market of North America, the new cast of would-be foes and irksome multi-city promotional tours maybe be alien to him but to the Eastern European phenom that is just background noise.

The battleground remains the same. And when it comes to the squared circle, his hallowed home since 2000, Fedor is box office.

He holds the power to captivate to and move, illuminating venues the world around.

A lifetime of experience and the capacity for scintillating virtuosity has seen him reach heights that most fighters could only imagine.

His lengthy and well-stocked resume begins to detail his greatness. Fedor has fashioned 29 wins, for one infamous loss to Tsuyoshi Kohsaka that has since been avenged.

All but two of his wins have come outside of North America. But in typically Fedor fashion the decorated Sambo star served up a mouth-watering cameo in Afflictionís debut event last July, blasting former UFC champion Tim Sylvia inside 36 seconds.

It was the performance his US showcase merited. As action-packed as a 36-second fight can be Fedor provided a stunning taster of his talents that left fans anxious to see more of the man from the Red Devil Sport Club.

The greatest measure of sporting brilliance is when the competition is at itís most fearsome level and the stakes are at their highest.

In this case Fedor is well served. The former Russian Top Team fighter had epic title battles in Japan with a teak-tough Antonio Rodrigo Nogueria and a peak Mirko Cro Cop.

He has broken the resistance of the most resolute of fighters and has prevailed against all manner of opponents.

Fedorís steely focus and composure ensure he approaches every fight, every round and every exchange with the same professional attitude. Complacency will never creep into Russianís game.

He consistently reiterates his place as the sportís heavyweight kingpin. Itís not just his ability to produce a single moment of brilliance, or turn the bout in his favour in an instant that makes him such a success, but more so his ability to pull everything out of his arsenal and gamely compete for every single second of each contest.

As the promotional buzz for Saturdayís Affliction card kicked off last week Fox Sports aired a pulse-pounding documentary Ė Fedor: The Baddest Man on the Planet.

His indubitable talent shone again and primed fight fans for another instalment of the sportís greatest practitioner.

Saturday promises to be some night for the infinitely talented Fedor who could truly assert his greatness on the American scene.