Fedor Emelianenko Explains Infamous ‘The Negro Won’ Controversial Quote

In the famous backstage clip from Pride’s 2004 Total Elimination event, Fedor Emelianenko is seen excitedly telling his team “The Negro won” after Kevin Randleman’s stunning win. The quote has lived on as an infamous piece of MMA lore, with many fans wondering about its insensitive phrasing.

In a recent extensive interview, Fedor provided context and explanation for the controversial statement. He made it clear that at the time, he was simply not accustomed to referring to African Americans in a proper way.

“I was brought up like that. At that moment, I was told that it was indecent, it was not good to call African-Americans [that way],” Fedor admitted. “I was not used to it. And at that moment I forgot.”

The Russian legend chalked it up to forgetting Randleman’s name in the heat of the moment backstage, stating “I forgot the name of Kevin. I went to the fight. I forgot the name.”

Fedor made sure to convey that he meant no offense with the outdated terminology he used. “I was not used to it. I was not used to it,” he repeated, highlighting his lack of familiarity with proper phrasing at the time.

The quote seems to have been a simple product of the era and linguistic differences, rather than any intentional malice on Fedor’s part. He has displayed immense respect and sportsmanship across his legendary career.

In providing this explanation years later, Fedor owns the insensitive language while providing context. The infamous quote was clearly just a brief lapse amidst the chaos of one of MMA’s biggest upsets at the time.

While inappropriate by today’s standards of discourse, fans can likely understand and accept Fedor’s perspective as an athlete caught up in the moment two decades ago. His incredible humility and character shine through in addressing the long-standing issue head-on.