Numerous questions have followed Russian MMA great Fedor Emelianenko ever since he dropped two lopsided consecutive contests to Fabricio Werdum and Antonio Silva in the past year.
Many have questioned his motivation, his training and whether or not he should drop weight classes to hold on to a competitive edge. Emelianenko’s coach, Vladimir Voronov, recently addressed these issues in an interview with LowKick.com and stated why they’re overblown.
On training “The Last Emperor” for his upcoming bout with fellow Pride FC veteran Dan Henderson, Voronov said, “We had a very successful training camp in Kislovodsk. There are no big differences from the previous one. Although we made some adjustments for Henderson as an opponent and to the intensity of Fedor’s training.”
As for whether or not the stoic Russian fighter still has his heart in the game, Voronov said that it does appear so, but it will only be known truly come fight night, when he stands opposite Henderson in the cage.
“Right now, he’s very motivated,” he said. “It’s hard to say what will happen during the fight, because it all depends on Fedor. As coaches, we have done and are doing everything in our power to help Fedor reaching the peak of his physical and psychological condition. Now, everything depends on Fedor.”
Finally, Voronov indicated that a drop south to light heavyweight is not in the future for the smallish heavyweight, as the 34-year-old’s skills — when he’s on top of his game — are a match for anyone.
“I can’t see any sense in Fedor moving down to 205,” said Voronov. “Why would he do it? To run away from someone? I think that if Fedor returns to the previous workload, today’s heavyweights will struggle against him. The most important thing here is to have the right motivation and training regime. If you want to win, you have to play by the rules.”
Emelianenko will face Henderson in the main event of Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson, which goes down this July 30 at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois.