The one, the only, fight sport living legend, “The Last Emperor” Fedor Emelianenko took time out to speak with MMAMemories.com about his next opponent Josh Barnett at Affliction Trilogy set for August 1 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA. In this interview, the supreme wrecking machine reveals some very interesting insights about his “true” friend Barnett, what inspires him, and more…
MMAMemories.com: Do you feel unbeatable right now?
Fedor Emelianenko: I never think about the fact that I’m unbeatable in any way. I understand that at any moment I can lose a fight.
MMAMemories.com: Do you expect this fight against your friend to be the toughest, most difficult fight of your career?
Fedor Emelianenko: It’s hard to say, it’s hard to predict. I mean I’ve already had a lot of very tough fights. So I can only tell you after the fight how particularly tough this fight was.
MMAMemories.com: What most concerns you from the arsenal of Josh Barnett?
Fedor Emelianenko: There’s really nothing that worries me about him. I look at this very level-headedly, and look at his strengths and look at his weaknesses. And just look at things very even keel, without getting too nervous or too emotional about it.
MMAMemories.com: Is there anything you don’t like about Josh?
Fedor Emelianenko: [Smiles] not really. He’s a good friend. I consider him to be a true friend.
MMAMemories.com: What is the key to victory for you on August 1?
Fedor Emelianenko: The training. The preparation for the fight. That’s the key.
MMAMemories.com: How do you see the fight ending? Could it possibly be you being the first to get Josh in an armbar?
Fedor Emelianenko: I don’t know how the fight is going to turn out, how it’s going to play out. And whether or not I’ll have the opportunity to end the fight in a particular way.
MMAMemories.com: After all you have achieved, after all your triumphs at the highest level of this sport, what inspires you at age 32 to fight now?
Fedor Emelianenko: The biggest inspiration is that I represent my country and the sport. I help people see that I fight for my country and that’s what drives me. The sport has given a lot to me and I fight not only for my country but for me people, for my orthodox heritage and background in religion. And I am very proud of that. And when I go into the ring I have the entire country and my people behind me.
Talkin’ MMA with Fedor part 2
He may be the calmest, most mellow sports superstar you will come across. It must be how it feels when you feel a total mastery and dominion over ever man in your sport. I have covered a half dozen of Fedor’s press conferences and it’s striking how relaxed and calm he is at all times. You almost wonder if Fedor has ever been angry or upset once in the last nine years, or ever in his life. Certainly, there could never be any media question that would ever unhinge Fedor (though nobody would ever try to get under his skin anyway), and here are some softball I recently tossed his way…
MMAMemories: Do you feel unbeatable?
Fedor: “I never think about the fact that I’m unbeatable in any way. I understand that at any moment I can lose a fight.”
MMAMemories: What is your inspiration now in your career?
Fedor: “The biggest inspiration is that I represent my country and the sport. I help people see that I fight for my country and that’s what drives me. The sport has given a lot to me and I fight not only for my country but for my people, for my orthodox heritage and background in religion. And I’m very proud of that. And when I go into the ring I have the entire country and my people behind me.”
MMAMemories: What do you think about during a fight?
Fedor: “I try to avoid thinking about anything, thinking was for the preparation period. Now it’s the time to act.”
MMAMemories: Who is the best fighter in the sport of MMA today? Is it you?
Fedor: “I don’t consider myself the best. I would say some of the best fighters in the sport today are Josh Barnett, Gegard Mousasi, Georges St. Pierre, and Anderson Silva.”
MMAMemories: What will be the key to victory in your next fight vs. Brett Rogers?
Fedor: “It’s always the training, the preparation for the fight. That’s the key.”
MMAMemories: You will be 33 later this month. When you career is finished as an athlete and champion, how would you like to be remembered? Do you think about this?
Fedor: “I don’t think or make plans for it. When that happens it’s up to the people to pass judgement.”