Posts Tagged ‘Fedor’

You have fought thirty-six times in four countries in just over ten years. You have held championship titles in three organizations, never having a belt taken from you in the ring. You spent years at the pinnacle of your sport by fighting some of the very best to ever compete, while they were in their prime, and you beat them all. You tasted defeat early and spat it back out, refusing to drink from the cup again for nine years, six months and 4 days. Millions upon millions the world over have endeared themselves to you. You lit up the faces of children all across Russia when you carried the Olympic torch. You raised the pulses of everyone who laid eyes on you in the ring, rather they be an opponent or spectator. You are the G OAT and no one has a bad word to say when asked,

“What do you think of Fedor Emelianenko?”

 

 

Humble, fearless, focused, loving, spiritual, respectful, the GREATEST, these are the words associated with the Fedor Emelianenko. Fedor has always been a quiet, calm man who never pined for the big life. He had no interest in moving to America or Japan or England, Fedor just wanted to be with his friends and family and he wanted to support them. Fedor wanted to push himself to be better at all things and he found in martial arts what he did best. From Sambo to MMA, “the Last Emperor” rose from just another Russian citizen to the most revered man in the world of combat sports. His fan base spans the globe. Fedor has talent, drive, focus, and toughness but most importantly he had mystique. He was so quiet and humble you could never figure out what was he was thinking. If you got one of the rare opportunities to ask him, his answers were either too cryptic or perhaps just too simple and honest for you to discern any real information. Fedor wasn’t going to bad mouth his opponent to try to get inside the other man’s head to gain some advantage. Or did he do it another way? Was his quiet, reserved demeanor and almost inhuman calmness just a clever ruse to make people uneasy? No one can know but Fedor. We know it wasn’t the look of him that did it.

The undersized, Russian heavyweight was short, balding, and pudgy, not exactly wielding the average fighter’s physique. It didn’t stop him from quickly reaching stardom when he began to fight in Japan. Fedor was to be tested there; gone was the level of competition in RINGS, now he would be fighting in Pride. At the time Pride was the biggest name in the sport and as such had many of the best fighters in the world fighting in their events. Fedor would never lose a single match in Pride, defeating fellow legends of the sport like Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Kazuyuki Fujita, Gary Goodridge, Kevin Randleman, Mirko “Cro Cop”, and Mark Coleman all in their primes. He didn’t always win with flash or superior skills. In fact some victories just seemed to be a battle of wills. Nothing epitomized this more than Emelianenko’s fights with Nogueira. He would take a beating if he had to but you could not break his will. Someone’s will had to break and you could be certain it would not be his. In his time in Japan he reigned as the heavyweight king of the world for three and a half years. It wasn’t just what Fedor did that made him the greatest, it was how he did it.

He wasn’t bigger and stronger than everyone. He wasn’t the greatest tactician to ever strap on 4 oz. gloves. He wasn’t the most prolific wrestler the world had ever seen. He wasn’t even the most technical striker to step into the ring. He was, however, as tough as they come. Fedor Emelianenko had a heart the size of Russia and a chin chiseled from quartz mined in the Ural Mountains, fists harder that could drive a coffin nail, and a will that would not be broken. Fedor lost a fight early in his career, his 5th fight, on a technicality. He was cut and if you’re cut you lose. It was nearly a decade before Fedor tasted defeat again. When Fedor walked into the arena in San Jose, CA no one in the world expected Fedor to lose. When Fedor found himself trapped in the guard of Werdum it looked like so many of his previous wars, all of which he has won. Even when you saw the leg come up and over to secure the triangle choke you just knew he was going to step into it and pull out, like he did against Nogueira so many times but . . . he didn’t. When his hand tapped in submission for the first time in his professional life the world sat, stunned. Everyone watching went silent. This was a fluke and it would never happen again, right?

That “fluke” took place in June of 2010 and The Emperor didn’t fight again until February of 2011. His first fight coming off of a loss in over a decade was the main event in the quarterfinal round of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix. He was a 5 to 1 favorite and was all but scheduled to fight Alistair Overeem, a highly regarded Heavyweight and the Strikeforce Champion, or get a rematch with the only man to truly defeat him, Fabricio Werdum. Everything was set up beautifully for maximum drama. Once Fedor defeated Silva and moved into the next round the world would be guaranteed a bout of epic anticipation that would reverberate throughout the world rankings.

As usual on February 12th, 2011 the smaller, older Emelianenko stepped into the ring as a heavy favorite, this time over the giant Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva. Fedor’s face locked in the same expressionless, determined gaze. The bell sounds. The fighters begin to circle and exchange blows. Silva moves about smoothly, towering over Emelianenko but, undeterred, Fedor charges in with punches landing some heavy shots and eating a few for his trouble. They engage one another in a clinch against the cage, Silva pressing on Fedor trying to tire him out. They are reset to the center of the ring and it begins again. Fedor striking . . . the fight going from standing to the clinch and eventually to the ground . . . twenty seconds . . . a flurry from both men . . . a right, a left, a right. Swinging wildly and connecting repeatedly are both fighters. DING DING! A close round, much closer than anyone expected. Fedor’s trainers speak to him in Russian, Silva’s in Portuguese. The bell sounds again. Fedor moves forward toward the center of the cage, unloading a huge overhand right and is met by the powerful, lowered shoulder of Silva. The GOAT on his back and cannot shake the bigger man from his perch. He begins to eat punishing blow after blow to the head but he defends himself and continues to try escaping his predicament. Emelianenko rolls over in an attempt to sneak out the back and the humongous BJJ black belt has the Emperor right where he wants him, but he can’t submit him. Fedor’s will shall not be broken again. He survives the rear naked choke attempt and he is again under Silva taking punishment. Another rear escape attempt and Silva tries again to choke him out. For nearly 5 minutes straight Fedor is being smothered, squeezed, choked, and pounded on by a 280 pound man whom has every intention of finishing this fight without the judges’ input. All this punishment, yet he’s still there, still fighting . . . twenty-five seconds . . . Silva has Fedor in a knee bar, but Fedor still has the capacity to reverse into a leg lock attack of his own . . . 10 seconds . . . both men attacking the other’s leg. DING DING! As Fedor rises to his feet you can’t help but notice that his right eye is completely swollen shut from the abuse but his expression is the same. His will has not been broken and he is prepared to go into the third and final round to finish this fight.

The referee and doctors call a stop to the fight. A good decision as Fedor was completely blind in his right eye due to the immense swelling. The facial expression now changes. I know that look, that’s sadness. He knows what we’re all about to hear but all hope we aren’t. This may very well be the last time we ever see him in the cage. If we never see Fedor Emelianenko fight again, we can all be proud to say we’ve seen the greatest and that we’re just fine with that.

You, Fedor Emelianenko, were the greatest heavyweight of all time, without a doubt.  Millions would say the greatest to ever step in the ring. For a decade you captivated millions and reigned atop the sport as a valiant, humble, deserving champion. In the end you went out the way a warrior should, in a blaze of glory. You took more punishment than any man should ever be able to take in a fight and you took it from a man 50 pounds larger than you and smiled, ready to go in for more. You owe us nothing, and we all owe you the immense respect you have given every opponent that you have faced. You are the GOAT. You are Fedor Emelianenko.

 

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MMAPlayground.com Fight Companion
Strikeforce – Fedor vs. Silva

SERDAFIED

Fight My Pick My Wager
– VS – Fedor Emelianenko

Fight ends in round 2

KO / TKO

[none]
Antonio “Big Foot” Silva
[Underdog]
Fedor Emelianenko
– VS – Sergei Kharitonov

Fight ends in round 1

KO / TKO

[none]
Andrei “Pitbull” Arlovski Sergei Kharitonov
– VS – Ray Sefo

Judge’s decision

Unanimous/majority decision

[none]
Valentin Overeem Ray “Sugarfoot” Sefo
– VS – Shane Del Rosario

Fight ends in round 1

KO / TKO

[none]
Lavar “BIG” Johnson Shane Del Rosario
– VS – Chad Griggs

Fight ends in round 2

KO / TKO

[none]
Chad “The Gravedigger” Griggs Gian Villante
– VS – John Cholish

Fight ends in round 1

Submission / Tapout

[none]
John Cholish Marc Stevens
– VS – John Salgado

Judge’s decision

Unanimous/majority decision

[none]
John “Greco” Salgado
[Underdog]
Igor Gracie

 

Frank Mir,

All my friends and family seem to worry about my state mentally.

, did a recent interview with MMA Fix in Vegas, in which he talks some more trash about Brock Lesnar. He then says that the “death threats” he made toward Brock were purely PR to help hype the potential fight against Brock in a attempt to keep from being leap frogged due to injury by Cain Velasquez. He relates Brock to Moby Dick, “He’s big, he’s white, he is a dick.” While communicating how he would love to fight Fedor, crediting him with best HW of all time, but is falling by the waste side by not fighting in the UFC:

If I told you that, right now, Brock Lesnar was on the south side of town signing on autographs and Fedor was on the north side, trust me there would be no traffic jams on the north side of town.

The interviewer quickly responded with this gem:

What if I told you there was an Octagon on the north side of town that Brock Lesnar was in and the south side of town Fedor was down there, and both of them wanted to fight. Which one would YOU drive to?

You can see Frank’s response as well as the entire interview here:

Watch Frank Mir Focused On Carwin For UFC 111 But Lesnar Is His Moby Dick on RawVegas.tv

I just read an awesome interview Fedor did recently with a Ukrainian site, http://www.pl.com.ua/.  If you clicked that link already you may have noticed one glaring issue I had with it…It isn’t written in English as God intended. I do not speak, nor read, Russian. Luckily, TMR from The UG does, and here is his translation (Warning – this is a long interview but worth the read…if you’re a man!):

In Russian there’s two expressions (the ones I use here are the closest translation I can come up with) that are commonly used one for “no holds barred” (literal translation is “fights without rules”) and one’s “mix fights” (mma equivalent). Most of the people use them as interchangeably, the first question is clarifying just that.

Q: “fights without rules” (nhb), is it really what the expression means – anything goes? Because in reality, there’s quite a few rules. What do you think – are they “soft” or “hard”?

A: In “mixfights” you are not allowed to hit below the belt, you cannot hit the back of the head or the spine. Any  action against the eyes is also forbidden, as well as biting etc. You also cannot hit the back. In reality – there’s quite a few rules. But more importantly are the referees; they are specialists in the ring that are ready to interfere at any moment.

Personally, I’m happy with all of that. The rules are a lot softer than in our sambo. In mixfighting you cannot head butt or hit the groin – which is allowed in combat sambo.

Q: There’s a saying amidst fighters – “the winner’s the first one to hit the chin”…

A: No, it’s not accurate. If the athlete is counting on that… well actually it’s possible, but it is not the right expression. The winner’s the first one to land on the chin yes, but you need to land it. And in order to accurately do that, you must know the strengths of the opponent. And his weaknesses.

Q: What are your weaknesses?

A: I do not talk about my weaknesses, I work on them.

Q: I can imagine how attentively your opponents study your weaknesses…

A: They probably do study them. I obviously do have weaknesses… but… No, I won’t tell them. (laugh).

Q: What about your strengths? Your key strengths?A: I try to improve in all directions, training in all aspects. As far as key strengths… I’ll give you an example:  Mirko Cro Cop. He was destroying everybody with his left foot. He hit with it in a way that people were being knocked out. When he started putting everything on that key strength, he lost.

I believe that a fighter has his favorite techniques, but he cannot focus on just that, instead he should always go forward. So that he can always be unpredictable during the fight. There are fighters that try to focus on their striking technique. There are fighters that try to do anything possible to get the fight to the ground – they all lack well roundedness; they all miss some part of the game.

Chuck Liddell, the ex-LHW champion of the UFC used to always focus more on his striking technique. He also wrestled of course, but always tried to stay away from the ground because he could lose. Randy Couture – lacks submissions and doesn’t have the best striking technique.

Q: Did you have any key fights, specific “enemies”? The kind that would make a new impact on your life? Say Cro Cop, who had knocked out your brother before fighting you (Aleksander Emelianenko also competes in mixfighting).

A: They’re not enemies, they are opponents. Opponents in a sport. I have never had enemies. As far as attacks leading up to a fight, I do not care about them.  It’s a typical custom, to create intrigue leading up to the fight. They are there to create intrigue for the audience. I do not pay attention to that.

Q: How do you feel about your opponents?

A: I respect them.

Q: Without exceptions?

A: Without exceptions.

Q: You are well known abroad, over here – only in the ex-soviet sports world. Outside of these borders you aren’t really a star. Why? Heavyweight boxers for example are quite the characters.A: Our sport is still very young; it has yet to pick up the power that it has abroad. Over there the championships have been going on for a couple of decades. Over here we have a few amateur sports. Combat sambo, hand to hand combat. But as far as professionally – the guys aren’t competing. I know a lot of fans that have been watching the fights in the UFC, “mixed fighting”, they were loving it but… there were no organizers, no organizations and no support. Personally I don’t know how it is over there, but over here if you want to show a good fight on TV, you need money. And not only money, but very serious money. Viewers around the world are interested, but the management of the Russian channels isn’t.

Q: You’ve been living in Stary Oskol ever since your childhood. Typically though, world class fighters try to move say to Germany, or the USA – where they train better and the payouts are bigger…

A: The training isn’t better in neither Germany nor the USA. And the payout does not play a role – the payment is predetermined and where I train does not influence it in any way.

Q: Then why do they leave?

A: <silence>… Because they forget where they are from, and what their flags are.

Q: You clearly do not forget what flags are yours. What are your thoughts on the Ukraine?

A: I always remember that I was born in the Ukraine. My grandmother, my grandfather, my relatives are there. I was born in the USSR, at that point in time the country was not separated. Today we live in different countries, but to me that makes no difference. I consider myself Russian first and foremost. All my childhood and youth I spent in Stary Oskol, I visited my grandparents during the summer. I do not separate the countries, I’m not a politician, it doesn’t matter to me.

Q: But you often wear a t-shirt with the two-headed eagle…

A: Of course, I am a representative of my country. I am proud to be Russian.

Q: What do you think of the “Russian” combat arts? It’s quite popular now to practice “Slavic styles” of combat, or say the “spetznaz combat art”.

A: I think that the only true Russian fighting style (martial art) is sambo. What people call now days “Russian styles” I honestly do not take seriously. I haven’t seen a single strong school with a solid technique; they most commonly look like amateurs. In fact not “most commonly”, it’s actually what they are – amateurs.
Why would you try to come up with something Russian, when you can actually practice something Russian? Another example would be religion, why try to demonstrate Orthodoxy, when you can simply live by the Orthodox way?

Q: When you go out to fight to [Enae Volare Mezzo – video below], you ceremoniously take off your cross and go forth to beat your adversary – sometimes it looks like that epic display has been thought through.

A: I have never had anybody telling me how I should look. And I do not have any people telling me how to look. Stylists or … I don’t even know what they’re called.

Q: Image-makers?

A: Yes, image-makers. I just try to live by my faith, and that’s it.

Q: What about the idea of being in a movie (action movie – the 5th execution), was that yours as well?

A: No, honestly speaking, no. My friends asked me, they were doing shows about our mix fights (about nhb). And Vadik, my manager, asked me.

They wrote up a screenplay, called in the actors and offered me one of the main roles. I was stubborn and didn’t want to do it. But at the same time – it’s very interesting and I wanted to try. I’ve never been in a movie before; I’ve never seen what it’s like. The result is… (Laugh) there is no result yet. The result will be in April. I will probably hide during that period, hide somewhere and not leave my house.

But to be fair, it didn’t look too bad at all. I was very interested in seeing, especially when everything is put together, with the sounds and everything. It all turns out completely different than what you go through. When shooting, you see everything, imagine and think – how can any of this work? Once everything is put together – it seems alright, I think.

Q: Why did you leave the official Russian sport for M-1?

A: I used to compete in Sambo and Judo, and there were issues with the judging. When I was fed up and the lack of objectivity annoyed me too much, I left for mixed martial arts.

Plus in the amateur sports, in Stary Oskol, I had no income. There was no way to support my family. It was obviously a hard choice – I was already on the official Russian teams of Judo and Sambo, and to just leave it all out of nowhere to a new sport and start from scratch… Thank god it all worked out.

Q: Is the judging better?

A: It’s not the same as in the amateur sports. Everything is professional, there’s an audience that watch and control. There are obviously some issues, but nowhere near as bad. There are different examples, but if you have a submission, no matter what, when the opponent yells “I give up!” – there will be no judging. If a person has a KO, they have to raise the winner’s hand. How can you judge a fighter when his opponent is out?..

In the amateur sports we have some very serious problems. In “mixfights” there are fans that are carefully watching over the process, they can’t be fooled. They have their favorites [fighters], by which they stand, and the fairer the judging, the more interesting the fights are for the fans. There’s more respect and the popularity rises.

Q: Still though, among the uneducated fans there are always rumors, that everything is organized. That the promoter told a fighter to “lie down” in round x – and that he does it.

A: In all of my life’s experience I have not encountered that. Not once.
How can there really be a setup, when the majority of our fights end early? Probably ~70% of the fights end that way. You can’t fake a knockout. Well, you obviously could if you tried really hard, but the audience is watching every movement, and then they discuss everything and critique. They cannot be fooled.
And think about it on your own – my payday relies solely on my wins. If I was to “lie down”, I would drop in the rankings and my next fight’s purse would be a lot smaller.

Besides, our sport is still only developing: for it to be interesting we must be unbiased. Of course, I want our guys to win – Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians, sure. But if a fighter comes from France, for example, and he hits well – then he will win. It’s very fair/honest.

Q: Why is the situation so sad in the official sport?

A: Because the people standing behind our sport are not fans of it, instead they are people with their own personal interests. They would rather have their boy go forward, than to have a stronger guy from another town, it’s always better for them to have one of their own judges than to have an independent one. Better to do an easier draw [as in draw in a tournament bracket] for their guy, so that he gets to the finals in good shape, and to throw the serious competition into the other side, so that they can fight between each other, tire each other out and get there exhausted.
They put their own personal interests over those of the country… of the sport… Do you understand?

Q: Why aren’t they leaving that and not transitioning over to “mixfights”?

A: Because, just like it was for me, it’s very difficult. In my situation I had absolutely no choice: in all of the Russian championships I was always third-third-third… In our sport the first place always goes to the “world” competitions, the second – to “Europe’s”. I was always third. I was tired and was asking them if they had a conscience at all, I’m fighting, and the entire room’s yelling at the judge – “what are you watching?”… I couldn’t get through, so I left. But it was very hard. Leaving everything I live for, everything I had accomplished. It maybe wasn’t that much, but the Russian team – was a good result. I was on both the Russian Judo and the Russian Sambo team. I consider that a good result for an athlete.
I had to leave all of that and start from scratch.

Q: Do you stay in touch with the official Russian sport?

A: They are now offering me some important positions, other things… I decline. I do not see the possibility in working on that, as I am competing myself. I try to talk with people that are really cheering for their work, for their sport. With them – I talk, what’s next, what should I do. If I’m asked by the other people, not the ones who do not care about the sport, and if they need a Flag of “Fedor Emelianenko” so that they can wave it and use it to plug the holes, the ones that are trying to change something and raise the status of our sport. If they ask – I will gladly go.

How can anyone dislike this guy? He is such a cool mutha….