Fedor Emelianenko recently sat down with the Russian site MixFight.ru to discuss a variety of issues. Below is a copy of the translated article:
As it usually happens, after another victory or an achieving some major results, Russian athletes gather an enormous interest from the press. Fedor Emelianenko in this case, is not an exception. As soon as he crossed the ocean he was bombarded with offers for interviews, to shoot some special programs, etc. Finally, once the frenzy was over, we had an opportunity to ask the champion a few questions that have built up.
Q: Fedor, you have fought your first fight, this year, on your new contract. It was one of the shortest time records in your deserving list. Did you expect such quick victory over Tim Sylvia?
A: I never expect when the fight is going to be over, and can never predict that in advance. Of course, you want it to be over as soon as possible, but I always prepare myself for a long and exhausting fight.
Q: Athlete’s entrance to the ring traditionally is accompanied by music. This time it was a total surprise for the viewers, when suddenly an old Cossack proverb “Son Stepana Razina”, better known as a national folk song “Oy, to ne vecher”, started playing. What reason was there for this choice and who sang this song on the recording?
A: This was my choice; I very much like this song. In my life quest God crossed my paths with an amazing man – Protodeacon of Nizhniy Novgorod’s archdiocese – father Andrey. When I heard this song done during his prayer, I asked him to record it for me, and he agreed.
Q: After the fight there was a zoomed-in shot of your trainer Vladimir Voronov putting a cross on your body. It appeared not too long ago. Are you a man of faith?
A: Yes, I’m a man of faith, and from not too long ago my life has changed, I will try to live by God’s commandments…
Q: A first step in becoming a church going person is usually taken after some kind of distress: heavy disease, loss of a close person, other tragic events… What was the reason for you to make that decision?
A: After I met father Andrey, all my doubts disappeared… After spending some time near this man, I understood that this is the only right way; and through Father Andrey, God led me to people who helped me realize how I lived and how I should be living in the future.
Q: One of the unfortunate disappointments that happened in your last fight was your injury: broken finger, which you already had surgery on more than a year ago. According to the international norms, after such injury you can talk about coming back not earlier than over half a year. Does that mean that you will not be competing anymore in 2008?
A: To tell you the truth, I don’t feel strong pain. My hand is healing; let’s hope that everything will come together. But my next event is planned for November; in St. Petersburg there will be a World Championship in Combat Sambo.
Q: You don’t plan to take part in “Affliction 2″ in October?
A: I would like to compete at Affliction 2, but so far I’m not sure if that will happen.
Q: Your brother Aleksander was supposed to compete in the past Affliction event. What was the reason they would not let him in the ring? Many are afraid, that a similar situation will repeat during next event.
A: I cannot comment in any way on this situation. Aleksander really was removed from competing because of some blood analyzes. So I cannot really say anything.
Q: Last couple of years you don’t train with your brother; he moved to live in St. Petersburg, and your training sessions are mainly held in Stary Oskol. Are there any plans to restart joint training sessions?
A: It is more convenient and better for me to train in Stary Oskol, but this does not sit well with Aleksander at all. As far as I understood from his latest interviews, he likes it in St. Petersburg, and he’s not planning to leave it for any training sessions.
Q: A big support group has flown with you to America. How important is that for you?
A: It is important for me, of course, when close people are near; those who always support me, worry and pray for me. It’s sad that not everyone got a chance to come, but despite that it was nice to see the guys who are rooting for me at the arena.
Q: Do you have any plans to fly to Beijing, to support Russian athletes?
A: Unfortunately, my plans are turning out in such a way, that I will not be able to go to Beijing. Although I would love to.
Q: Among the organizers of the Affliction event there is this world renowned manufacturer of styled clothing, done in gothic style. Even you came out in an Affliction T-Shirt. Do you prefer such “brave” style of clothing?
A: I prefer more of a simple style. Although, I do like Affliction style of clothing very much, it’s convenient, comfortable. All the symbols of the Orthodox Church were present on my shirt, so I decided to wear it while coming out to the ring.
Q: In one of the recent interviews you talked about a project “Fighting Fedor”… Were the participant casted already? When will it start?
A: This question is for Vadim Finkelstein – he takes care of this project. I don’t know any exact dates.
Q: What are your upcoming plans?
A: I’m flying to America right now to take part in a press conference. Also we have negotiations with the Affliction firm.
Translated by stripthesoul