In association with our Brazilian partners over at Planet Tateme and Rômulo Rougemont in particular, we bring you the second part of our exclusive interview with Fedor Emelianenko. For part one of the interview, click here.
Planet Tatami: Do you believe that one of the most anticipated bouts of all time, namely the fight between you and Randy Couture, will finally take place in 2008?
Fedor: Randy is one of the best fighters and he proved it numerous times. I still hope this fight will take place in 2008. As far as I know Randy’s got some troubles with the UFC. We couldn’t come to an agreement with them regarding this fight and the contract. We were offered unacceptable conditions.
Planet Tatami: There are some rumors on the internet about a fight between you and Josh Barnett. Is there some negotiation going on right now regarding this fight? What do you think about Josh?
Fedor: We are good friends with Josh. We always walk when not too far from each other. If we don’t catch up then we exchange e-mails. This fight is planned but I don’t know much more at the moment.
Planet Tatami: Did the fight against Hong Man Choi happen in the way
that you expected?
Fedor: I never expect fights to be easier or tougher. I always tune
up for the hardest and prolonged bouts. But then it goes the way it
goes. As for this fight I’m satisfied with the way it went and how I
Planet Tatami: What is the reason that you think that could explain
the poor results in the UFC for former PRIDE stars like Mirko Cro Cop
and Mauricio Shogun?
Fedor: Well, Mirko… something broke in him, he lost the motivation. He was the crowd’s favorite while in Pride, everyone was there to help him if needed. As for Mauricio, he’s not a consistant fighter, he show’s incredible fights with a good technique and high
speed. But sometimes his fights are just too long and not very impressive. He’s a very good well rounded fighter and I don’t understand why he’s so unstable.
Planet Tatami: What was your tougher fight: Cro Cop or Minotauro?
Fedor: These two bouts were rather tough. In both of these fights I
tried to apply all my skills and experience. I can’t really say which
one was tougher though. They are two completely different fighters that’s why it was just different and hard to compare.
Planet Tatami: Are there any fighters at Red Devil that you think are prepared to follow your footsteps into MMA? Does Kiril Sidelnikov continue to train with you?
Fedor: There are enough skilled, talented up-and-coming fighters but
they lack experience in performing on a major scene.
Planet Tatami: Do you know when your brother Aleksander will fight
again? Has he been training with you lately?
Fedor: Well, I don’t know, these question will better be answered by
our manager Vadim Finkelstein. We haven’t trained together recently. I
train in Stary Oskol while he prepares for his fights in Saint Petersburg.
Planet Tatami: Russia is the home of the legendary Aleksander Karelin and other great wrestlers. Why do you think that the best russian fighters in MMA come from Sambo and not from Wrestling? Are you a fan of Karelin?
Fedor: People come in MMA from diverse styles. The transition itself
is not organized in Russia. MMA is not that popluar here compared with
Brazil, USA or Japan. Russian fighters’ mentality is not the right one,
not a fighter’s mentality. Sambo is close to MMA, closer than greco-roman or free-style wrestling. I highly respect Karelin, he’s a good fighter. But I don’t make an idol of anyone.
Planet Tatami: What is the importance of Sambo in your life?
Fedor: Sambo is my sport and I proudly represent it abroad. Sambo is exciting and dynamic style. I still intend to represent Russia in this sport.
Planet Tatami: Fedor, most of the martial arts fans here in Brazil
and all over the world have you as an idol and support you in your
fights. It happens not only due to your great fight skills and
versatility but also due to your humility and character. Feel free to
send your message to all your fans.
Fedor: Thank you very much for your kind words. I’m very pleased I
got fans in Brazil who like my fights and technique. I’ve always dreamt of visiting Brazil one day, but it’s been a dream which hasn’t come true today. I hope to see you there soon.
To read part 1 of this interview, click here.
For more information on Fedor Emelianenko please visit the M-1 website: M-1 Mixfight.