Russian fancy of Mixed Martial Arts wonāt have to go abroad to see the March tournament āRussia vs. USAā.
Correspondent: You are just back from the second muster in Elbrus region. Tell us about your trainings, results and achievements. Fedor: We trained in altitude of 2200 meters. Major part of work ā trainings for staying power, ability to withstand the pressure is done. Two weeks of training in the same conditions left, to put additional necessary pressure and then carry out contest preparation. As a result of active training work I consider a little loss of weight during the muster. Now itās 103 kilos but itās a little less visuallyā¦
Correspondent: Are you thinking of moving to another weight category? Fedor: (Laughing) No, Iāve no such intentions now.
Correspondent: Your brother took part in November Pride tournament in Holland. Tell us about his fight please. Fedor: It was unsuccessful for my brother: Alexander lost for Fabricio Verdum. His coach said he gave ignorant fight ā he did all the stuff he was not supposed to doā¦ I think maybe Alex believe his forces too early. It seems heās caught āI am a starā disease, considers himself a great fighter, doesnāt train properly (we have not been working together for over 6 months) and now seriously loses for the second time this season.
Correspondent: Do you see any way out for this situation? Is there any opportunity to help your brother to continue worthy career? It was not long ago when it took him just several minutes or even seconds to throw down his rivals. And experts marked a family trait of Emelianenko brothers to win. Fedor: Frankly speaking I donāt want to interfere in Alexanderās affairs. He is a grown-up person and chooses his own way.
Correspondent: You may be right, as it often happens that people who once asked for help or advice blame those who tried to help them for failure. Fedor: Yes, we had such problem once. After the fight with Josh Barnett Alexander partially blamed me for his defeat. Though he didnāt pay attention to any of the instructions I gave him. This situation was a good lesson for me so now I donāt want to interfere his affairs.
Correspondent: What are the odds we can see your junior brother Ivan at prestigious tournamentsā rings? Fedor: Ivan is going to take part in fight sambo tournament soon. He often go to musters with us, like this time in Elbrus region, but itās unreasonable to propose him even for rating Pride fights. I donāt think he is ready yet. Unfortunately he is like that ā sometimes he really wishes to train and does a real serious work but sometimes he just doesnāt pay enough attention. Probably he thinks you achieve something even working from time to time. ā¦ He has the same problem as Alexander. If Alex paid more attention and zeal to his trainings he could be a real challenger for champion title. But as he trains only just before the fight such disappointing defeats occur.
Correspondent: Who coaches Alexander now? Fedor: Before the last Pride tournament Alexander went to Holland for training. And as Fabricio Verdum is a really well-trained fighter Alexander had to have very good sparring-partner. He had nobody to fight with in Holland. Though he was suggested to go with us Alexander rejected suggestion and now you see the result.
Correspondent: Every week on Saturday fans can watch TV-programs on NTV and get known with fighters and Pride tournaments. How do you think what else can be done to make Mixed Martial Arts more popular in Russia and is there any future for this kind of sports in our country? Fedor: Of course there is. Fights are rather popular. And the efficient way of making it more popular is mass media. The more such tournaments are told about the more popular and well known they become. And Pride is rather popular already. Before they showed boxing programs at this time on NTV ā different tournaments with real masters in the sports but they were not as popular as Mixed Martial Arts programs.
Correspondent: Following the pervious topic, Pride tournaments have been twice held in Holland, one October tournament in USA, donāt they think to widen the geography of Pride shows? Fedor: I know they carried on negotiations with China and Korea but itās still just agreement. I donāt know when Pride will really take place in these countries. And there is intention to hold Pride tournaments in Russia but itās not decided yet. But Russian fans of Mixed Martial Arts will have opportunity to visit āRussia vs. USAā tournament that will take place in Saint-Petersburg in March. National team includes Roman Zentsov, my brother Alexander, me and young fighters who showed themselves really well at ring.
Correspondent: Nowadays there isnāt almost any kind of sport that women donāt take part in. Are there any female tournaments like Pride? Fedor: Female tournaments are usual in Japan and USA ā two or three fights are additional to regular male shows. There are the strongest women within their weight categories. So women have the same rating as men. And Russian girls also wish to try their forces.
Correspondent: A lot of parents are interested in what age is perfect ā physiologically and mentally ā for starting to train children with martial arts? Are there any recommendations from founders of one or another school, letās say of oriental martial arts? Fedor: Frankly speaking there are no recommendations. Itās a question of great dispute which age is perfect for start. I started to train when I was 11, my first coach Vasiliy Ivanovich Gavrilov made it clear from the very beginning that only hard work will bring results. I began to train hard from the first years ā by the end of training my kimono was always wet from sweat. And now parents bring their children to sport schools at eight, seven and even six years. I really donāt know whether a child can train really hard in this age. Usually during first years general educative and restorative exercises are given, there are also active games. I canāt say what system is better. Anyway the most optimal variant of starting martial arts training is 10 years. At this age children are more serious and can pay trainings necessary attention.
Correspondent: You are invited as an honorable guest to āUSA vs. Russiaā that will take place in Canada. Have you ever counted how many flights you have to make during a year? What is your preferable kind of traveling? Fedor: This tournament starts today ā the 4-th of December. Unfortunately I couldnāt visit it I have a serious training before the new year tournament. If to speak about number of flights I never thought about it. And the most favorite transport for not long distance is a car. I like to drive. If we go in a good company itās really great to go by train ā¦ But just about 8 or 9 month ago trains freaked me out. May be it was because of numerous trips from Saint-Petersburg to Starii Oscol and backwards before and after operation?!ā¦ In general Iām ok with any kind of transport.
Correspondent: Are you planning to go anywhere soon? Fedor: No. I have to train for new year tournament and Iām not planning to go anywhere.
Correspondent: Do you know who your rival will be? Fedor: Now itās Mark Hant, former champion of K-1, he won over Mirko Krokop after me. So the fight promises to be interesting.
Correspondent: Well, we wish you luck at your tournament training and thank you for interesting conversation.