Thread: Fedor Comments On Barnett
5/29/2009 12:11pm, #1
- Join Date
- Jul 2008
Fedor Comments On Barnett
Amid rumors that WAMMA heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko will face Josh Barnett during Affliction III at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. on Aug. 1, the former PRIDE champ took time recently to speak exclusively with http://www.M-1Global.com.
The most pressing topic of conversation were the reports that Emelianenko will be fighting Barnett and while Affliction has yet to officially announce the fight, Fedor revealed that he has agreed to the match while responding to a question regarding just how involved he was with the negotiations.
"I am always 100% involved in the negotiations especially with regards to the Barnett fight," he responded. "We discussed this fight with the whole team (trainers, coaches, management), so as a team we agreed to a fight with Barnett."
The potential showdown with Barnett is one that is intriguing in that the two are friends who have trained with each other in the past. Fedor was asked to discuss the nature of his friendship with Barnett.
"Besides Josh's qualities as a fighter, he is also one of the best representatives for MMA in the U.S.A.," he said. "We often had drinks after our fights in PRIDE and Affliction so I do consider him a friend."
The friendship between the two heavyweight standouts is so strong that it even remained as such in spite of Barnett's 2006 second round submission victory over Fedor's younger brother, Aleksander, at PRIDE Total Elimination Absolute.
"There is no desire for revenge," Fedor answered when Barnett's win over Aleksander was brought up. "This is a totally separate fight."
If the fight vs. Barnett becomes official, it will put Emelianenko in a position where he could record his sixth career victory over a former UFC heavyweight champion. So how does Barnett rate with the five other former UFC heavyweight champions he's fought previously?
"I consider Josh as one of the truly best in MMA, I think he is really in his prime right now," he said. "Just like when I fought Cro Cop, he was in his prime as well. At that time it was one of the most anticipated fights in MMA history (and) my fight with Josh can be that as well."
The proposed Fedor vs. Barnett matchup is not only intriguing because of their exisiting friendship, but because of Barnett's tremendous wrestling skills. We asked Fedor if he feels Barnett poses greater danger as an opponent because of his ability to control a fight.
"Every opponent is a danger for me and Barnett has a great ground game," he acknowledged. "He is capable of adjusting his gameplan any minute in the fight."
In Fedor's most recent fight, he took on an opponent in Andrei Arlovski who has received great acclaim for his striking ability. Despite a slow start, Fedor still managed to knock Arlovski out at just 3:14 of round 1. When asked whether he felt Barnett might be able to stand with him, Fedor was less than certain.
"I donít know," the Stary Oskol native responded in succinct fashion, before adding, "I think Josh and his team has made his striking really good for an MMA purpose."
In addition to the rumored fight with Barnett, Fedor has also recently been in the news following his special sparring exhibition on April 29 vs. Shinya Aoki as well as recent public comments by Frank Mir. When he was aprised of Mir's comments in which he expressed his belief he'd beat Fedor, Emelianenko offered a diplomatic response.
"Once again, I respect every fighter. Every fight is a challenge for me and Frank Mir would be as well."
Regarding the exhibition vs. Aoki, Fedor indicated it was all done in good fun.
"It was just playing... It was fun! It makes me happy to promote the sport of MMA with such a great champion as Aoki."
While it was not an official match, the exhibition was the first time fight fans in Japan were able to see Fedor compete in person since his Dec. 31, 2007 victory over Hong Man Choi at Yarrenoka! We asked Fedor if competing in Japan in New Year's Eve this year was a possibility. While he was unsure, he also didn't rule it out.
"I donít know yet but New Year's Eve is always a big challenge for me and I love fighting in Japan," he commented.
While Fedor's fight vs. Barnett has yet to be confirmed, one thing that is official is that Fedor and his M-1 teammate Gegard Mousasi will both travel to the United States next week to attend the "Fifth Edition" of the 2009 "M-1 Challenge Presented by Affliction" on June 5 at Memorial Hall in Kansas City.
During the interview, Fedor was asked if he was able to watch Mousasi's victory earlier this week against Mark Hunt in the first round of DREAM's "Super Hulk" tournament.
"Yes, I saw his fight," he answered. "I am very proud of him and I think he did very well!"
Mousasi will be in Kansas City to coach Turkey, while Fedor will simply be an observer with his Team Imperial squad not scheduled to compete again until July 4 in Seoul, South Korea. After winning the 2008 M-1 Challenge Championship Cup, Team Imperial has fallen on hard times, starting out the 2009 season with an 0-2 record. Fedor was asked whether he felt Imperial still had a chance to qualify for the playoffs.
"Theoretically itís still possible but itís going to be tough," said Fedor. "Itís not exactly the same team as last year but we have some great talents in there like Mikhail Zayats and Dmitry Samoilov who have really great potential."
5/29/2009 12:43pm, #2
- Join Date
- May 2002
Total class act. No ego, no BS, pure hunter/killer. If he was a girl, I'd **** him.Now darkness comes; you don't know if the whales are coming. - Royce Gracie
KosherKickboxer has t3h r34l chi sao
In De Janerio, in blackest night,
Luta Livre flees the fight,
Behold Maeda's sacred tights;
Beware my power... Blue Lantern's light!
5/29/2009 12:50pm, #3
He comes across as a true professional. Good on him.What a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable. -Xenophon's Socrates
5/30/2009 2:37am, #4
- Join Date
- Jul 2008
Come to the UFC!
5/30/2009 10:47am, #5
Fedor is a classy guy. Barnett too. This would, in my opinion, be Fedor's hardest fight.
Barnett is amazingly tough, and versatile, and clever. No knucklehead is likely to beat Fedor, any time soon. A thinking fighter will be the one, if any.
6/01/2009 8:44am, #6
- Join Date
- Apr 2005
If Barnettu-chan can get top position on Fedor, Fedor will have some serious trouble on his hands. But the Josh who showed up to fight Yvel has no chance of beating Fedor in the positioning game.
6/01/2009 9:25am, #7
This is the kind of good sportsmanship that should represent MMA and that the rest of the world needs to see.
6/01/2009 1:56pm, #8
- Join Date
- Nov 2006
- santo domingo, dominican republic
just the same i was thinking. Barnett may be the **** and all, but if he steps in the way he did with Yvel, i don't think he'll last long.
6/01/2009 9:55pm, #9
- Join Date
- Jan 2007