Correspondent: Fedor, we didn't see much of you last year. You finished 2005 with a win over the Brazilian fighter, Zuluzinho. The fight lasted 26 seconds. This was perhaps your most dominating performance ever. How did you manage to win so quickly against a fighter so much bigger than you in size and weight?
Fedor: Yes, it was a really fast fight. I got in a good punch on him then I was able to keep position for the rest of the fight. It's what I train for.
Correspondent: Alexander's fight with Pawel Nastula was longer. Were you worried for your brother? Did you think it was a special fight?
Fedor: Alexander had a very prestigious opponent; gold medalist in Judo, two-time world champion in Judo. During the fight there were a few moments where I had to worry for him. Such a fight was necessary to show Alexander how hard he was breathing, how his conditioning was, but he won. It is important that he can fight hard for the whole fight. In a fight with someone like Nogueira, it's necessary to tinker around with strategies.
Correspondent: What fights do we know Alexander will take part in?
Fedor: He will take part in the Grand Prix. The opponent isn't known yet, but the strong candidates are Sergey
Kharitonov or Antonio Nogueira.
Correspondent: Considering these fights, can you make any predictions?
Fedor: I'm quite sure of my brother's strength, and I hope for a victory for him.
Correspodent: How will Alexander prepare for the fight? Usually, you train together. What happens now that you are unable to help him train the same way?Â
Fedor: Why? It's necessary to help, so I will. By the way, we're going to Holland already on February 11th. I'll watch how Alex trains, and give him advice on techniqueâ€¦ After Holland, we plan to train in Kislovodsk again â€¦ I'll still be kicking and training my legs. Hands, certainly, I won't punch a bag, I can still do shadowboxing.
Correspondent: Right after your fight on New Year's, you went to France. You met Jean-Claude Van Damme?
Fedor: The basic purpose of the trip was a seminar with French fans. Van Damme entered into negotiations with my manager.
Correspondent: They offered you a movie role? Will you agree to it? Is it already known what movie,
and who you will play?
Fedor: Jean Claude has suggested that I be in "Bloodsport 2" and that I play myself; the world champion fighter, I guess. I don't know the s cript yet, it was a preliminary meeting. In April, Jean Claude is going to come to Russia- to Moscow and St. Petersburg. Press conferences are planned, also he wants to train with me. As for my agreement to participate in the project, I'd like to do it and it would be interesting too.
Correspondent: Fedor, could you tell us more about the Paris seminar? What interests French fight fans?
Fedor: It was a four-hour seminar- practical stuff in a 130 person class. It was not only professional fighters, but also people who didn't really know anything about sports. The Different kinds of strikes, different elements of fightingâ€¦ the participants were interested in everything: Striking with hands and legs, tactics, ground control...
Correspondent: Literally, once you left France, you went on a visit to South Korea.
What was the basic purpose of this trip?
Fedor: I was invited by the president of the world Sambo Federation, Mr. Moon, to do a seminar on sambo. That is, with the purpose of popularizating sambo. I did a sambo demonstration with Alexander and my coach Vladimir Voronym, then a seminar.
Correspondent: What are your strongest memories of the trip?
Fedor: It was amazing how popular fights are in Korea. I found out some of my fights, along with others, are broadcast almost every day. And talking to Mr. Moon, the head of the Sambo Federation, I am the most popular fighter here. I was so well known just to go out on the street was impossible. People were simply going crazy for us. The most memorable part? Being presented with a new car. We went up a TV tower, where we had a huge panoramic view of all of Seoul. Visiting an orphanage. Visiting a temple where we were the guests of a tea ceremony. But the most pleasant was how the Koreans receive visitors. I have brought such a big quantity of gifts that at the airport, my luggage was overweight by more than 100 kilos. The most popular gift was a kind of ginseng root in different varieties. The kind on a straw mat was especially pleasant, the ginseng has been very interestigly presented and scented on the grasses.
Correspondent: After returning from Korea, you had the operation on your hand. How did it go? What did the doctors say? How soon can you fight again?
Fedor: My operation was on January 26th. The doctors broke the bone, then set it correctly and it's all held together with a small metal plate. You can see it all in the x-rays. The doctors are satisfied by the result.
Will do another operation to remove the plates. Right now, my hand is definitely not capable of doing much. For 2-3 weeks, even running is impossible for me, let alone lifting weights...
Correspondent: Someone helps you to get dressed and eat?
Fedor: No, I do it myself. Though it is very unusual to do everything with my left hand. It's inconvenient. I tried to write with my left hand, but at the moment it's impossible to do, too awkward... eating is difficultâ€¦ Though I have almost learned to use chopsticks with the left hand perfectly. It's much easier than with a fork and spoonâ€¦ But I hope that after the 2-3 weeks when they remove the plaster, I will be able to slowly start using the right again.
Correspondent: What do you plan to do during the rehabilitation period?
Fedor: As I said before, in February I shall go with my brother to Holland, then couple of days layover in St. Petersburg- the doctors will look the hand. After that, I'll fly to Japan, since I was invited to the PRIDE event- I will go to the PRIDE events as a spectator. At the beginning of April, I meet with Van Damme. I've been asked to do seminars in Korea again. In June-July, I plan to do seminars in America.
Fedor came with his wife Oksana to the meeting, and we got to ask her some questions too.
Correspondent: Oksana, now that your daughter is in school, you probably accompany Fedor on trips more often?
Oksana: No, not more often than when she was younger. Masha has a hard time when we go somewhere without her, and to take her on long trips is something she is probably not ready for yet. In general, we have already got used to frequent trips of her daddy. Though.. she has started to study the English language this year, and Masha recently told my sister, "do you know why I am learning English? So one day I can travel together abroad with daddy". Probably now she is starting to understand the earth, the space of it, and how far he goes when he leaves. I think it will become harder and harder to convince her to stay with her grandmother.
Correspondent: Fedor told us that your daughter has watched all of Fedor's fights since she was two years old. How does she react when she watches her dad get hit?
Oksana: She focuses more. Though, she has gotten so used to her dad winning every time that she is not very scared for the outcome most of the time, that when she is asked who she thinks will win, she says with some bewilderment, "of course my dad! my dad is the strongest!"
Correspondent: Oksana, in the family is there any distribution of duties? There Is a clear split to what Fedor does, and what you do?
Oksana: Fedor spends so much time abroad that usually Masha and I are doing all the household chores. Though when he is home, he washes the dishes (She smiles: Certainly not now, with his hand!), and tries to help in the kitchen. Usually I prepare the meal, and Fedor cleans everything up.
Correspondent: You get asked this question all the time, but do you worry ever that Fedor has chosen to fight for his trade?
Oksana: Certainly, there are moments where you worry very strongly, and go through distressing moments. But I am always glad that Fedor can reach such heights, and achieve something in life!
Correspondent: We thank you for the interesting conversation!