Sunday, March 23, 2008


Complex: You shot a commercial for Affliction clothing last Friday with Randy Couture. Did you two discuss a possible fight between takes?
Fedor Emelianenko: We just took photos and did the commercial. We talked about different stuff - about our families, we invited each other to our homes. Randy talked about how he visited Russia to train one time. That’s about it.

C: Randy’s made it clear that you’re the one person left that he wants to fight. If it never happened, at the end of your career would you feel like you missed out on something special?
Fedor Emelianenko: If it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen. That’s it. But I think it’s going to take place because I think that everyone wants it.

C: Who do you think wants it more: You, Randy or the fans?
Fedor Emelianenko: The fans want it more.

C: Do you hear it directly from fans?
Fedor Emelianenko: I don’t hear it in person from the fans, but I know it from the questions that the media ask me and from the Internet, so I feel they want me to fight Randy.

C: What would a fight like that mean to you? What would you gain from it?
Fedor Emelianenko: If I win, I would be considered one of the strongest fighters ever.

C: Beside Couture, what other heavyweights you’d like to meet in the ring?
Fedor Emelianenko: (laughs) I don’t know who else would agree to fight me.

C: Would you ever consider dropping down to light heavyweight in order to find a good fight?
Fedor Emelianenko: I would never consider that because I feel comfortable where I am right now. Also, I’d have to diet a lot, and I don’t like that. (laughs)

C: On New Year’s Eve you fought Hong-Man Choi, one of the largest competitors (7′ 2″ and 350 lbs.) in MMA. What adjustments did you have to make to fight someone of his size?
Fedor Emelianenko: I didn’t have any adjustments or anything. Me and my trainer set up a strategy when we saw his fights on television. Then me and my team trained together, and they would try and copy some of his movements and actions.

C: What draws you to this? What got you involved in fighting?
Fedor Emelianenko: When I was little, my mom said, ‘Why don’t you and try (martial arts),’ and I did and I liked it. I fanatically started training and really got into it. It grew and grew each year. That’s how I got into sambo and judo first and then I decided to do MMA after that.

C: What made that decision for you, to go from practicing strict martial arts to actually getting in the ring?
Fedor Emelianenko: I needed money. (laughs)

C: If not MMA, where would you be?
Fedor Emelianenko: Probably I would be still doing sambo and judo. Maybe training younger fighters.

C: Vladimir Putin shows up to your fights on occasion, and the idea of our president showing up to support a fighter seems strange here in America. Have you talked with Putin?
Fedor Emelianenko: Putin once visited me after a fight. Our president is very athletic. He develops and tried to give more attention to sports in Russia right now, which is nice. We did talk.

C: So, would he take out President Bush in a fight?
Fedor Emelianenko: Our president is a black belt in judo and he is also a master in sambo. So if they did that … (laughs) But I think that our leaders should decide their issues in a different way.

C: In between fights, what else are you doing besides preparing for that next match?
Fedor Emelianenko: I have two sambo tournaments including the President’s Championship. The rest of the time, I’m just planning to be with family.

–Interview by Robert Spuhler
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