Fedor Emelianenko will meet fellow Pride FC veteran Dan Henderson in the cage next month in a heavyweight bout that could very likely determine the future of his career.
Once widely considered to be the world’s top pound-for-pound fighter, “The Last Emperor’s” stock has dropped considerably since losing two consecutive bouts against Fabricio Werdum and Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva, respectively. Following his most recent loss, which came in early February to Silva, Emelianenko indicated that he would likely be retiring from the sport of MMA. After mulling it over and discussing the prospect with those close to him, Emelianenko decided to continue on with his legendary career and to make the proper changes in order to ensure that he doesn’t lose his third fight in a row.
“I did speak of retiring and it was said in haste,” Fedor recently told SBNation.com. “Two mistakes in a row can not be coincidence. I do not want to allow a third, which is why I thought about departing from the sport. But then I discussed the situation with my coaches and spiritual father when I got home. After this I was absolutely sure that it is not the time for retirement and I must continue to fight. Now I’m training and preparing for the next battle with Dan Henderson.”
The 34-year-old explained to SBNation how he’s revamped his training camp — which was traditionally held only in Russia — in order to overcome a fellow seasoned competitor in Henderson.
“I’ve drawn conclusions on what areas of my training need work and what to pay attention to in training and in battle,” Emelianenko said. “This time I have trained in Holland, in Russia and again at the training camp in Holland. I work with people who are the best in their disciplines and are focused on preparing me for the battle with Dan Henderson… Training for a fight is never easy regardless of the opponent. I train and prepare for every contest the same so I can compete to the best of my abilities.”
Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson goes down this July 30 at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois.