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Fedor: I always wanted to fight Sylvia

As the main event in what may be one of the biggest days in the sport’s history, Fedor Emelianenko takes on Tim Sylvia for Affliction MMA. What gives the match-up some added significance to fans is that the fight represents a dream match between a former UFC champion and a Pride champion.

For his part, Emelinanenko admitted that he’s looked forward to a match-up with Sylvia but not because they were both champions.

I’ve always wanted to fight Tim Sylvia,” said Emelianenko, “Not necessarily because of where he comes from – I don’t really think too much about the fact that he was the UFC champion and I was the Pride champion. It’s mostly because I want to fight the best fighters in the world. Tim is one of them, and I am just very fortunate to test my will against him.”

Emelianenko is a very humble superstar.  As arguably the best fighter of all-time, he only concerns himself with how good he can become – not how good people think he is. Recently, I had a chance to interview Emelianenko, and he doesn’t seem to walk around with any ego at all. Emelianenko just wants to take on any fighter that also wants to find out if they are the best in the world.

To read the entire interview, please click here or here.

  • bigboy says:

    Emelianenko is a very humble superstar. As arguably the best fighter of all-time

    Calm down on this statement….Fight someone of relevance, and do it in the Octagon. Cro Cop already proved he couldnt handle the cage.

  • Revjames13 says:

    Fedor has the best demeanor of any fighter I’ve ever seen. He’s humble. He doesn’t make predictions because he knows anything can happen in a fight. He respects all of his opponents. If someone else speaks poorly of him, he doesn’t address it, because it has nothing to do with him.

    He’s probably the best ambassador of the sport, along with GSP and Randy.

  • platypus says:

    it doesnt matter what his personality is as long as he wins

  • Revjames13 says:

    After Fedor takes out Tim in the first round, the talk of him being overrated will vanish. Then we can see him fight Barnett or Arlovski hopefully, and go on a tear through some top 10 HW’s.

    Like most everyone, I’ve been wanting to see Randy/Fedor, initially because I’ve been a fan of Couture since his first fight with Belfort. Now, I still want to see the fight, but I won’t be rooting for Couture so much as simply wanting to see a great, competitive bout. Fedor is just such a good guy, I can’t root against him anymore.

    How you handle yourself in life means everything in terms of how you handle yourself in the cage or ring. As great an athlete as many fighters are, it’s no coincidence that the most mature and humble guys happen to be the two best in the world: Fedor and Anderson Silva.

    BJ Penn is my favorite fighter (Penn/GSP!), but even though he’s come a long way maturity wise in the last year, he’s not at the ego free level of Fedor and AS yet.

    A lot of people blog about Fedor not being as good as his hype, but it’s funny, you will not find 1 professional fighter who has fought him or might ever fight him who will say the same thing. They now he’s the real thing.

  • Guy Gaduois says:

    Seems an admirable guy – I disagree with Platypus; I applaud men of excellence, competitors who are also decent.
    I agree with Revjames13; from what we’ve seen, heard and read, Fedor belongs among the best men in the sport . . . I might add Big Noguiera and Anderson Silva to Revjames’ list – but it’s a good list.

  • fightfan says:

    Pure class. The best at any sport do not talk, they let their expertise in the sport they excel at do the talking. Especially when it comes to fighting, egos can be severely inflated. You know, the I’ll fight ANYBODY, ANYTIME attitude and I can beat anyone, I m going to win this belt and that belt and move up and beat them.

    Fedor, although may be past his time has really never lost(except the illegal elbow cut) and yet he still does not bragg and talk about being able to fight anyone and win.

    A humble attitude in mma, to me anyhow, is the most respectable, classy, and selfless an athlete can be in this sport of egos and testosterone and alpha personalties.

    Win or lose tonight, Fedor is among an elite few, not only for their accomplishments in the ring/cage with true class.

  • Sergio G. Hernandez says:

    Anyone who says Fedor is overrated obviously hasn’t seen him fight.

    Anyone who has grown frustrated at the fact Fedor hasn’t been fighting Top 10 competition for the past 3 years, myself included, cannot wait for tonight.

    And anyone who salivates at the idea of Barnett and Arlovski being in the same organization as Fedor wants Affliction to succeed.

  • mo says:

    #4 makes a good point. I for one am not covinced Fedor is the best fighter, and i personally think it is GSP, but the point made about how you won’t find any fighter feel that Fedor is over-rated is a very good one. Most people forget that they aren’t fighters in the octagon/ring. I guess we can all agree that we can be thankful to finally see how good Fedor can be.

  • marktwain says:

    Fedor is not the only fighter on the Affliction card being a very nice person: Looks to me that the guys from Affliction know that not every fan is happy with how the UFC represents the sport: trash-talking, “fight anyone, any time”, cockiness… You get the idea 😉

    In my opinion a very nice development! Go Affliction!

  • Evan says:

    humble? he wears a shirt that says “nobody beats me” and has a number 1 on it.

  • neijia says:

    I am convinced Fedor is the best but it doesn’t really matter. Agree with all the statements about his attitude. Obviously mma careers are necessarily short so it’s not really possible to compare him to elite athletes in other sports, but his humility and level of excellence reminds me of Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods (Who is Woods really competing against other than himself?). I would say the same thing about Fedor, regardless of the outcome of this particular match (though I agree with most of the journalists’ predictions that Fedor will win by submission in rd 1 or 2. Once on the ground, years of elite-level combat sambo and judo victories can not be easily overriden by some cram training with bjj and judo experts nor 35 lb weight and 8″ size advantage – not to take anything away from Big Tim).

    As for Barnett and Arlovski fighting Fedor – I’d love to see that, too, but c’mon, Arlovski? Not in the same league as Fedor. Randy is pretty old but he and Fedor are both expert strategists and that would still be interesting. Barnett? No idea.

  • #10, so do I. Doesn’t make me cocky.

  • neijia says:

    Two other nice quotes from the interview:

    “Q: With all the victories you’ve had, do you feel you are the best MMA fighter ever?
    FE: I don’t really believe that, and I don’t really think about that.”

    “Q: For yourself, what do you think the strongest part of your game is?
    FE: I think the strongest part of my game is that I can think very quickly on my feet and that I can make decisions very quickly.”

    Fedor’s quick thinking is always clear. As soon as something doesn’t work he seems to try something else. He should win some new fans tonight.

  • HexRei says:

    IMHO its mostly just UFC fanboys who think Fedor is overrated. Certainly he hasn’t proven that he is the best of late, but anyone who watched his Pride fights can’t deny the way he systematically dismantled everyone in that organization, including a few ex- (and current) UFC champions. That kind of talent doesn’t disappear just because you don’t have the best competition to face, keep in mind he still trains with the same camp, and does Combat Sambo in his free time- he’s won a shit ton of Sambo tournaments during the last two years.

    So ya, if you’re the type of MMA fan that watches pretty much just UFC and uses Wikipedia and fightfinder to build all your opinions of Pride fighters, I can see why you might think he is overblown.

  • marktwain says:

    #12 Nothing wrong with the “fighting anyone, anytime”-Attitude and that’s the point: It’s the attitude that counts, not the trash-talking. Such talk is cheap, and most often comes from low self-esteem. Greats guys like GSP, Anderson Silva, Fedor, Randy etc. have respect for their opponent and let their doings do the talking.

  • doubleA-ron says:

    @ #4 – How you handle yourself in life means everything in terms of how you handle yourself in the cage or ring. As great an athlete as many fighters are, it’s no coincidence that the most mature and humble guys happen to be the two best in the world: Fedor and Anderson Silva.

    Totally agree w/ this statement, but u can’t leave out St. pierre! Especially when u talk about humble. I think this is Fedor’s time to shine and beleive that he more than anyone else will be the way that this organization survives. Hey u know that Fedor guy, yeah doesn’t fight in that one organitation, umm, yeah i think it’s called Affliction (non hardcore mma fans & strictly UFC fans)


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