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Fedor Emelianenko responds to Andrei Arlovski, Freddie Roach, and Dana White in exclusive interview with 5 Oz. of Pain

There are just 17 days until Fedor Emelianenko defends his WAMMA heavyweight title against former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski during Affliction and M-1’sDay of Reckoning” on January 24 in Anaheim, California.

Despite having recorded victories in the past over the likes for former PRIDE and interim UFC heavyweight champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia, and Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic, Arlovski could pose Fedor’s toughest test to date.

Fedor’s potential toughest test is also set to occur on the heels of his first loss in the World Combat Sambo Championships in nearly eight years. Fedor responded to the loss by claiming that it had little to no bearing on his career in MMA and that Combat Sambo was merely a hobby for him.

Despite what he had said publicly, Emelianenko still ultimately elected to cancel an-early December press trip to the U.S. so that he could begin his camp early in preparation for Arlovski. The decision created a great deal of skepiticism with Arlovski at the top of the list of skeptics.

“After his loss in the Sambo tournament, I think he’s messed up a little bit,” Arlovski said during a December press conference to promote ‘Day of Reckoning.’ “He says it’s not important, but c’mon, let’s be serious. He was unbeatable, like, five years, six years in Sambo, and he’s not beatable in MMA. When you lose something, of course it’s [expletive] important. For me, it’s really hard to believe that he doesn’t care about it. Of course he cares. He’s not like 100 percent sure of himself.”

In addition to Arlovski’s comments, Fedor has recently had verbal salvos fired at him by both Arlovski’s boxing trainer, Freddie Roach, and UFC President Dana White.

While Roach made several complementary remarks about Fedor, he still was critical of his standup and pointed out several flaws of his during an interview with Josh Gross of And during a recent radio interview on “The Carmichael Dave Show” on KHTK in Sacramento, White attempted to discredit Emelianenko’s first round submission over Sylvia during Affliction and M-1’s “Banned” event this past July.

“Tim Sylvia!? Everybody knocked Tim Sylvia down in the first round,” White said during the interview. “Randy Couture knocked Tim Sylvia down in the first round too and took his back. Randy just couldn’t choke him out or he would have choked him out the same exact way Fedor did!”

Despite being secluded for his training camp in his Russian home city of Stary Oskol — a small town in which cell phone connectivity is spotty at best and Internet access is almost non-existent — Emelianenko still responded to an interview request by With M-1 Global Vice President of Legal Affairs Steve Bash serving as a translator, Fedor addressed our questions about recent comments made by Arlovski, Roach, and White.

Sam Caplan: You train in your home town of Stary Oskol, which is very isolated from the rest of the world. With so many world class camps popping up that have some many top coaches and training partners, why do you choose to keep things simple?

Fedor Emelianenko: My training is not simple. I believe I train harder than anyone else in the world. The strength and power I obtain can only [be done so] here in Russia. I feed off my surroundings and I do not believe I would be as prepared if I trained somewhere else. I like to have everything I love around me when I train.

Sam Caplan: During a recent press conference to promote “Day of Reckoning,” Andrei Arlovski questioned the sincerity of a statement you made last month regarding the your loss at the Combat Sambo Championships. Can you respond to that statement?

Fedor Emelianenko: Maybe Andrei is trying to convince himself that I have been weakened in some way. But it [doesn’t] matter [as] we are not fighting Sambo with Andrei. The only thing I am 100 percent sure about is that I will be 100 percent ready to fight MMA against Andrei. And that is the only thing I care about right now.

Sam Caplan: One of Arlovski’s trainers, famed boxing trainer Freddie Roach, questioned some aspects of your standup from a technical boxing perspective, most notably your footwork. Do you feel Roach’s criticisms are relevant to MMA?

Fedor Emelianenko: The beauty about MMA is that every fighter has his own unique style and preferences. But it’s not a beauty contest. We fight to see which fighter’s approach prevails. But again, we are not boxing and we are not fighting Sambo. We fight MMA.

Sam Caplan: How do you feel about an opponent’s trainer saying picking a part your standup like that?

Fedor Emelianenko: Sometimes it is a trainer’s job to point out weaknesses in his fighter’s opponents. And sometimes it is a trainer’s job to convince his fighter that his opponent has weaknesses. We will see.

Sam Caplan: During a recent radio interview, UFC president Dana White once again made some negative remarks about you. He especially tried to discredit your victory over Tim Sylvia. Could you respond to that statement?

Fedor Emelianenko: I think if Dana White says something negative about his [former] champions then he is only saying something negative about his own organization. I have victories over many of the UFC’s champions. If he says something bad about them or me then he only makes his organization look weak.

Sam Caplan: White has said many negative things about you in the past. Is it at a point where he has burned a bridge with you, or would you still consider fighting in a promotion he’s involved with under the right circumstances?

Fedor Emelianenko: I do not pay too much attention to what Dana White says in the media. He is trying to sell one thing as good and make you not buy another thing by saying it is bad. I just want to fight the best fighters in the world. I am lucky that the best heavyweight fighters in the world right now are with M-1 Global and Affliction. If the situation is right and there is someone really good in the UFC that will fight me, then I would be fine fighting [for] them.

Sam Caplan: If you fought for the UFC, do you think Dana would be referring to you as the number one heavyweight in the world?

Fedor Emelianenko: (Laughs) I think if I fought for the UFC, he would try to sell me as the greatest MMA fighter that ever lived.

Sam Caplan: White has blamed your management as the reason why you are not in the UFC. Do you agree with his assessment?

Fedor Emelianenko: No.

Sam Caplan: There have also been questions raised about how much control you have over your career. Could you set the record straight and comment who has the final say in regard to who has final say: you or your management?

Fedor Emelianenko: It depends on the decisions. I am not a specialist in some thing. Sometimes I make the decisions and sometimes we make them together. If I stop fighting tomorrow, I stop. If I want to fight Sambo, I fight. If I need to finish my training camp and miss a press conference, I need to. But I am lucky to have good management with my team, M-1 Global. I am part of M-1 Global so it is easy to make decisions together.

Sam Caplan: White has proclaimed Anderson Silva the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Do you have any interest in fighting Silva and if so, how do you see that fight going down?

Fedor Emelianenko: If this was a fight that the fans would want, why not? I also never make predictions on how a fight will turn out.

Sam Caplan: M-1 USA Vice President Jerry Millen made the statement that in a fight with Brock Lesnar, he would not make it past the first round against you. Do you agree with that assessment?

Fedor Emelianenko: I just do not like to make predictions [because] anything can happen in a ring. Lesnar has some natural talent. It would be an interesting fight for fans to see.

Sam Caplan:  Your protege, Kirill “Baby Fedor” Sidelnikov will also be competing at “Day of Reckoning.” At only 20-years of age, do you think he’s ready for such a high-profile match against a seasoned veteran such as Paul Buentello?

Fedor Emelianenko: Kirill has improved greatly with his fights in the M-1 Challenge and helped out Red Devil Team reach the world finals. I think Buentello is a good test for Kirill but I know Kirill is ready.

Sam Caplan: During some recent interviews you revealed that you weren’t looking forward to a possible fight vs. Randy Couture because he’s a friend. But if he were to suddenly to become a free agent, would you refuse the fight?

Fedor Emelianenko: I would not refuse the fight because I believe Randy and I are both ambassadors for the sport of MMA and we would help grow the sport very much with the fight. This was the main reason why I wanted to fight Randy, even if it meant to fight someone I admired.

Sam Caplan: If you are able to defeat Arlovski, it’s been said your next fight could come against the winner of the Barnett vs. Yvel fight. It’s also been said that you are friends with Barnett. You said you weren’t looking forward to fight Couture because he’s a friend, so how do you feel about the possibility of facing him?

Fedor Emelianenko: Yes, Josh and I are friends. But once again, the best should fight the best for [the good] of the sport of MMA. It would be okay.

Sam Caplan: Ideally, how many times would you like to fight in 2009?

Fedor Emelianenko: God willing, it will be nice to fight three times in 2009 and have one more fight New Year’s Eve.

  • SK says:

    Fedor is such a class act!

  • Matthew Lenz says:

    That dude is cool as a damn cucumber. You will never hear him smack talk or act like an ass in or out of the ring because he is one of the only true warriors in the sport.

  • Davey D says:

    Fedor is one of most humle human being’s I have ever seen. Time and time again, he always gives a respectful answer to any question asked of him. No matter what someone has said about him, he treat’s the issue with honor & respect. It is easy to pop off and degrade someone but, Emelianenko always takes the “let’s get down to business and see what will happen” approach. This fight can’t come quick enough…almost 2 weeks away now.

  • Davey D says:

    edit: humble human being. Opps!

  • darkmetal says:

    I wonder if Arlovski somehow KO’s Fedor if we will be reading all about how it was his Freddie Roach who really beat Fedor.

    It seems that lately the standup game, namely sharp boxing, seems to be at the forefront of MMA. Perhaps it started with Anderson Silva saying he wanted to box, or maybe it was when Rashad Evans KO’d Chuck Liddell….

    Personally, I have not been all that impressed with Arlovski’s fights of late. He doesn’t seem to resemble the early Pitbull who was willing to destructively beat up his opponents. Unless we see a return to that style, I don’t see him beating Fedor.

  • Lord Faust says:

    “He doesn’t seem to resemble the early Pitbull who was willing to destructively beat up his opponents.”

    He’s done much better since he stopped blocking punches with his face. I think you’re mistaken.

  • Rich B says:

    Just waiting for Fedor – Barnett…

  • Tyler says:

    Excellent interview. Reading things like this make me like and respect Fedor even more. If he does beat Arlovski which I think he will. That would set up probably the biggest fight of the summer against Josh Barnett who should take care of Yvel. Can’t wait for Jan. 24th.

  • Guy Gaduois says:

    You know what Fedor needs? A gigantic four by four truck with his picture emblazoned on the side. It would be the perfect exclamation point to his persona.

    Seriously, isn’t Fedor exactly the way you want an athlete to come across? He lets his performance speak for him, he speaks honorably about his allies and opponents. He is very contained in the ring, methodical and completely competent.

    Again, we only know him from what we see of him, but unlike many, many other athletes, what we see is quite admirable. He seems a decent fellow and I wish him well, if only to serve as encouragement to be different than the ‘popular’ template of arrogant, loudmouthed, criminal behaviored template that is so prevalent today. Beyond that, the guy is amazing to watch fight.

  • Ajtrain21 says:

    this man is a class act! I have nothing but respect for him. Im glad the interview touched on one of my dream fights: fedor vs anderson silva! At 205 i would imagine fedor could cut to lhw if he wanted to

  • G-DUB says:

    Hearing all of the different viewpoints in this last week of interviews, it’s hard not to at least slightly side with Fedor and Vadim. There seems to be a willingness there to make the big fights happen on common ground, but Dana and the UFC are trying to control too much. Dana claims that in order to be the best you need to fight the best. Though this is true, there seems to be more validity to the viewpoint of concern on the part of Dana that Fedor would plow through any UFC Heavyweight, thereby making a farse of the division. Bottomline … Dana thrives on proclaiming that the best fighters in the world fight in the UFC and he doesn’t want to put that claim in jeopardy.

  • Big Dummy says:

    I have thought for a long time now he should never let Vadim ever do an interview for him or ever talk to the media. Simply because his interviews always make me respect him that much more and he doesn’t get caught up in the politics of the business of MMA. Fedor handles every question about Dana perfectly and he also handles every question about other fighters perfectly.

    Nothing but a class act. If Fedor could just give all the executives at M-1 Global and Affliction lessons on how to do interviews they would be much better companies. At least in perception from my point of view.

  • Craig says:

    Fedor is pure class. I like the way he civilly responded to Dana White. Don’t get me wrong, as a MMA fan, I am grateful for all Dana White has done, but I think it’s more than just over-the-top for him to attack Fedor’s credentials, especially after the UFC tried to sign him.

  • screwface says:

    sam time and time again 5 oz of pain keeps evolving into 1 of the top mma news outlets. its great to see fighters acknowledge this and give you all the exclusive interviews youve been getting. excellent interview, broken record statement, fedor is def a class act. sooner or later i really believe you will get the holy grail interview with dana white himself. even he cant deny the force to be reckoned with that is 5 oz of pain 🙂

  • Snuffy says:

    “Sam Caplan: How do you feel about an opponent’s trainer saying picking a part your standup like that?

    Fedor Emelianenko: Sometimes it is a trainer’s job to point out weaknesses in his fighter’s opponents. And sometimes it is a trainer’s job to convince his fighter that his opponent has weaknesses. We will see.”

    That’s got to be one of the most icecold responses I’ve ever heard.

    Hopefully he will destroy Arlovski. War Fedor!

  • Tyler says:

    “screwface” I’d hardly call Dana White the “holy grail interview”.

    I mean come on he’s never met a microphone or

  • Tyler says:

    OR TV camera he didn’t like. The guy is constantly giving interview’s.

    (The previous comment posted while I was still typing I have no idea why.)

  • hithard says:

    fedors! da man.i say he beats them all this years and everybody noes who the king in mma really is,,and for anderson silva fedor would snap that boy in half

  • Cathedron says:

    Fedor is so good for the sport. His manager on the other hand…



  • lou says:

    I know it has been said, Fedor is a class act and I have so much respect for him and what he is all about, humility and class are lacking in most people but not in this man. God Bless the man known as Fedor

  • Cashville Heavyweight says:

    Well, I garuntee you now that Freddy Roach questioned Fedors boxing, hes going to drop Arlovski on his feet, just to prove a point, thats what Fedor does best lol

  • James says:

    i like that right after fedor says he “never make predictions on how a fight will turn out” , the next question is do you agree millen’s assesment that lesnar wouldnt make it out of the first round vs you?….very respectful…

  • VENOM says:

    Great interview! Time and time again, Fedor proves that he is the MOST humble man in MMA. The sport needs more champions like Fedor. Then maybe, MMA would get the respect from the general public that it deserves. The days of the “human cockfighting” stigma are gone. Fedor is the ambassador this sport needs!
    Go Fedor!!!!!!

  • kentuckyfightfan says:

    A nice interview and props to Fedor for being the class act that he is. But one problem with what he said…all the top HW’s do not reside in M-1/Affliction.

  • Tyler says:

    You are right kentuckyfightfan “all the top HW’s do not reside in M-1/Affliction”. Alistair Overeem fights for Dream and Strikeforce. Good Point!

  • kentuckyfightfan says:

    LOL! Overeem is a good fighter…but get serious…If Mir, Nog, and Couture aren’t in your top 10 HW’s then how can you call yourself a true MMA fan?

  • Tyler says:

    I guess I should have clarified when Fedor referred to top heavyweights in M-1/Affliction I assumed he meant himself, his brother Aleks, Arlovski and Josh Barnett. I would add Overeem to that mix. I wasn’t talking about a top 10 list then yeah Mir, Couture, and even Nogueira at this point would still be included.

  • kentuckyfightfan says:

    There’s no doubt Fedor is #1 till someone knocks him off…but to say Mir and Couture aren’t in the “mix” with “top HW’s” is crazy!

  • Tyler says:

    Neither Mir or Couture are top 5 heavyweights. Remember this is MY opinion if yours differs. That’s Your opinion.

  • Ross says:

    “Seriously, isn’t Fedor exactly the way you want an athlete to come across?”

    I dont know, look at Tiger Woods: My swing feels good,the course looks good, my chances are good….blah blah blah….

    Not saying I want people grabbing their nuts duiring a fight, yes Im talking to you rashad. I think AA has the perfect mix of respect and humor- “pee pee pee” anyone???

  • Ryan Seacrest says:

    Fedor vs. Chuck Norris = Chuck Norris ko in the 1st…LOL

    On a serious note: Kick his ass Fedor!!

  • kentuckyfightfan says:

    Neither Mir nor Couture is top 5 HW? I’d like some of the drugs you’re on…cause obviously they put ones self in a literal state of bologne.

  • Tyler says:

    You are complete gone if you think Randy Couture is still a top five heavyweight at this point in his career. And trust me I’m not a Randy hater I’m being completely honest. As far as Mir he couldn’t beat Fedor, Arlovski, Barnett, Overeem, or Aleks so no he’s not top 5 either. And if you think he could beat any of those guys stop and asked yourself how. He’s not taking any of them down that don’t want to go to the ground and as much as people want to stroke him for his improved stand up every guy I mentioned would knock him into next week.

  • WOW says:

    It seems Fedor got angry.

    I hope Fedor will show his skills in the next fight.

  • s00nertp says:

    Sam Caplan how DO you come up with so many awesome questions? You asked everything I would have LOVED to hear him talk about. Seriously you should pat yourself on the back and give yourself the night off for this interview. Incredible.

    Another interview proving your worth and the value of 5oz.

    Fedor… you defy the laws of MMA. Few fighters accomplish what you have in the ring, and even fewer do so with your commitment to honor. What a class act. If Randy Couture is your role model, he must look at you with pride.

    Favorite Question: (Tough choice in this case)
    Sam Caplan: How do you feel about an opponent’s trainer saying picking a part your standup like that?

    Fedor Emelianenko: Sometimes it is a trainer’s job to point out weaknesses in his fighter’s opponents. And sometimes it is a trainer’s job to convince his fighter that his opponent has weaknesses. We will see.

  • neijia says:

    great interview, Sam. Fedor is indeed a class act and in his own league as an mma as well as sambo fighter. I do hope Arlovski gives him a tough fight but hope Fedor pulls off another one of his great wins. The Frank Mir that beat Nog could give Fedor a good fight, though. Heavyweight is getting interesting again with Mir and Lesnar coming up in UFC, and some of the Affliction bouts.

  • kentuckyfightfan says:

    hmmm…whatever you say there pal. I do recall Sylvia whipping Arlovski…So now you’re saying Arlovski is above Sylvia? The old Arlovski from 4 years ago, maybe. Point is…Mir broke Sylvia’s arm and Sylvia is a UFC outcast…and he beat Arlovski. And Couture made Sylvia look like a joke, as well did Fedor. It must be something to live in a land where Pride rules…oh yeah…Pride is DEAD! I give you Fedor…but those other guys…c’mon…who have they fought?

  • kentuckyfightfan says:

    If you would be bruatally honest…who has Fedor fought? 7 foot tall kickboxers in their MMA debuts? Sylvia was best competition he’s fought in recent memory. And Sylvia was getting his butt handed to him in the UFC. So your argument is bologne!

  • Tyler says:

    @kentuckyfightfan “I give you Fedor…but those other guys…c’mon…who have they fought?”

    Thanks a lot! Now I feel like a total jackass knowing I’ve wasted my time debating back and forth with some guy who doesn’t know shit about the sport of MMA and the guys fighting in it that aren’t seen on SpikeTV.

    At least from now on I know better don’t get worked up over a “kentuckyfightfan” comment.

  • ric says:

    GUYS, dont be slow minded, the reason all his interviews sound classy is becasue the same person that is translating is the person making all the descisions. Come on put 2 and 2 together. Fedor needs to get an outside translator not somebody that has all his eggs riding in one basket. THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX GUYS>

  • mu_shin says:

    Excellent presentation of a fine sportsman. Thanks for the interview.

    Blogs are all about opinions. Opinions are either impulsive and unfounded, or well informed and considered. The opinion offered that Emelianenko has “not fought anyone” is just not representative of the facts.

    Also question anyone who would posit that Frank MIr is not a top heavyweight. Knocking out a guy that Emelianenko did not stop twice is indicative of a force to be reckoned with, and I believe Mir will offer further evidence of that fact in future bouts. While many newer younger fans are fixated on the knockout, Mir is a master of the submission, earned over years of hard training. Making blanket statements about who could beat Mir are as big a waste of space as all the reams of blog posts detailing how Mir would never beat Nog, and Rashad Evans would never beat Chuck Liddell.

  • Dr.Stoppage says:

    Thanks for the article.
    How did your interview end up taking place?
    How did you get the questions to Fedor ?
    And how did he respond via translator?
    Phone ,email,fax?
    Just curious.
    Thanks again.

  • SK says:

    @ Dr.Stoppage:

    Based on this answer:
    Fedor Emelianenko: (Laughs) I think if I fought for the UFC, he would try to sell me as the greatest MMA fighter that ever lived.

    My guess is it was over the phone. Unless you know how to express laughter by other means… 🙂

  • blake says:

    until someone stops fedor, then he is the MAN. forget what anyone (dana, anyone, etc) says about him he is the best in the world right now (and for some time).

    also, just as cool outside of the ring with his interviews and such.

    i like fedor and hope he is successful.

  • Dr.Stoppage says:

    Good point.
    Somehow, I just can’t picture Fedor or his assistant typing ‘lol’.

  • jason says:

    anybody notice a change in the way fedor has been handeling hiself lately, he speaks better english and is answering more of his own interviews instead of vlad controlling most interviews conducted in or with american journalists.

  • Jonny C says:

    Fedor is so smart. Arlovski and Roach were trying to get inside Fedor’s head and now Fedor has turned it around and has now gotten into Arlovski’s head and turned Roach and Arlovski against one another. The Fedor quote “Sometimes it’s a trainer’s job to convince his fighter that his apponent has weaknesses” has to get Arlovski thinking “HMMMM, is Roach lying to me about Fedor” Hahaha

  • BigDave says:

    First off Dana White is just a mouth peice with money so i dont really listen to his opinion other then to get a laugh. Fedor is the top of the MMA heap for the time being. He has fought some tough dudes i mean Nog became UFC Champ long after loseing twice to fedor. So that blows the he only fight guys that UFC dont want comment out of the water. As for Mir and Couture being in the top 10 HW’s i would say Randy is hanging on to 10th by a thin thread and Mir has put himself in around 7th with nog and brock right behind him.Now to the Arlovski fight, I do think Fedor will win but if we see a focused Pitbull it wont be an easy fight. I’m looking forward to a war.

  • Justin says:

    Whether Fedor wins or loses against Arlovski, I will still have the most respect for him for being the humble warrior that he is. It’s a wonder he can be so graceful in taking criticism and throwing out the garbage. Even though he’s really calm, you can tell that he means business whenever he has to fight someone.
    Everyone has a different way they do a stand up. If it works, then why not use it?

  • Axl Rose says:

    Fedor is truly the man!! Can he be any nicer and cooler on top of being the best fighter in the world? I love Andrei too but come on now! We all know what’s going to happen. Fedor by submission, round 1!

    How come nobody is talking about how friggin cheesy the UFC is being by putting two pay-per view shows right smack before and after the Affliction card!? They don’t give a shit how many people purchase UFC93. They just want to take payperview buys away from the affliction card. Dana White is a BITCH!! Hate that guy! He is going to ruin the sport man! What a selfish prick!

    Anyway, Goooooooooo Fedor!!!


  • spoofy says:

    tyler mir maybe not couture his a top5 hw for sure ,u opinions sucks assmas for overeem get a clue his tough but not top 10,plus shogun owned him twice as lhw ur a tool

  • spoofy says:

    fedor is so badass,and has a funny goofy smile

  • johnny lee says:

    mirko “cro cop” filipovich, antonio nogueira, tim sylvia, kevin randleman, mark coleman. This is for you kentuckyfightfan. These are just a few fighters that fedor disposed of in the prime of their careers. Never ask “who has fedor fought”? He is, was and always will be the greatest fighter the sport has ever seen!

  • Craig says:

    Doesn’t Fedor make Dana White seem sooooo petty?? Awesome!

  • cocoy says:

    Fedor doesn’t need to prove anything to anyone cause he is proven and tested.


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