. Fedor: I am training to win the tournament
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Fedor: I am training to win the tournament

Fedor Emelianenko, considered by many to be the greatest heavyweight -- and perhaps mixed martial artist -- of all time, is a man of few words. Rather than fruitlessly guessing at the unknowable, he will admit he doesn’t know. Instead of pondering the future, he will focus on the present.

Emelianenko will bring that same practical mindset into battle on February 12 when he takes on top 10 ranked Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva in the opening round of the highly anticipated Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Tournament. Speaking with MMAFA.tv, Emelianenko reflects on his training and opponent.

"I can’t wait to compete again. Silva is a great athlete who is skilled in many areas. He has proven to be a very worthy and dangerous opponent. My training camp has been very strong. I feel proud to be representing my country in the tournament. I’m training to win the tournament.”

Eight of the top heavyweights in the world will participate in the tournament, leading many to believe that the eventual tournament champion should be in the running for the title of best heavyweight alive. To Emelianenko, his opinion on the matter is irrelevant.

“The tournament participants are all highly skilled athletes. As for whether the winner should be considered number one in the world, it is not for me to say. That is something left to the media and to the fans.”

In Fedor’s last outing he suffered the first blemish on his record in a decade when he lost via submission to Fabricio Werdum, one of the best heavyweight grapplers in the world. Werdum will fight Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem in a separate tournament bout and the winner is scheduled to face Emelianenko should he defeat Silva. Emelianenko claims he remains as motivated as ever after the loss and welcomes a challenge from either competitor.

“I enjoy the competition of sport very much and that is what motivates me. I will continue to compete for as long as my health and God allow me to. I look forward to getting back in the cage and performing to my highest level. For me, it does not matter which I compete against. I will prepare my best and everything else is God’s will.”

Explaining his loss against Werdum, Emelianenko states it was due to a basic error.

“I wanted to finish the fight with Werdum early and I made a mistake. I have moved past this and have been training hard. If we were to face each other again, I will approach this in the same way I do for every contest.”

Emelianenko recently started his own Twitter account, showing the kind of tech-savvy most fans wouldn’t have expected from a fighter they associate with an ascetic lifestyle. Although many fake accounts claiming to be the real Fedor Emelianenko have sprouted up in the past, Fedor’s account was followed by over 2,500 people the first day it was activated. Emelianenko explains the move to Twitter in his usual, laconic fashion.

“I was advised it was a nice way to communicate with my fans around the world. I have no message for those people [who have pretended to be me]. I only look to be myself.”

By: Jon Luther

Fedor, interview source: http://www.mmafa.tv/news/blogs/fedor-i-am-training-to-win-the-tournament.html


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