Fedor Emelianenko's coach Vladimir Voronov has passed away ©Getty Images

Vladimir Voronov, the coach of sambo and mixed martial arts (MMA) legend Fedor Emelianenko, has died.

Voronov has coached Emelianenko throughout his career, which has included four world titles in the heavyweight combat sambo class.

Emelianenko is also considered one of the greatest MMA heavyweights of all time, utilising many of the sambo techniques Voronov helped to hone in that arena.

"The Last Emperor", as Emelianenko is known in the professional MMA world, took to Instagram to pay tribute to his longtime coach.

"From childhood Vladimir was part of the family, a demanding mentor," he wrote.


"He raised champions, strong in spirit, believed in young guys and helped them find their way in life.

"I ask for your prayers for the newly departed Vladimir.

"My most sincere condolences to the family and friends of Vladimir."

Emelianenko is a four-time combat sambo world champion and also won six Russian titles.

His last world title came in 2007, with 2012 marking his last Russian crown.

Another noted Russian coach, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov - the father of two-time combat sambo world champion Khabib Nurmagomedov - passed away in July following a coronavirus diagnosis.