FEDOR EMELIANENKO INTERVIEW
03/28/2005

Emelianenko Fedor will face off against Tsuyoshi Kosaka in the upcoming April 3rd BUSHIDO 6 at the Yokohama Arena. Four years ago, Kosaka became the only man so far to beat Fedor, although it was due to an accidental injury, and Fedor has sworn revenge. Beyond Kosaka, Fedor already has the leading challenger for his belt, Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic, in his sights.

 

       

 

Pride Fighting Championships: When did you start training, following December 31, 2004?
Fedor Emelianenko: I didn't take much of a break because I wanted to stay in shape. I started training immediately after the December fight. It's important to keep training, even if it's only a little.
Pride: Have you done any special training?
Emelianenko: I've been training in muay thai in Holland. I want to get better at muay thai.
Pride: What did you think when you got the offer to fight Kosaka?
Emelianenko: I was glad that I got an offer. That's all.
Pride: Please tell us about your fight with Kosaka in RINGS in December, 2000. What kind of memory is it for you?
Emelianenko: It's not a good memory. I was cut by Kosaka's illegal strike (elbow). There was blood coming from my eyebrow and I couldn't finish the fight. The RINGS' judges gave the victory to Kosaka and wouldn't give me a revenge match. I don't think it was fair.
Pride: So, this is a revenge match for you?
Emelianenko: Of course.
Pride: How do you rate Kosaka, as a fighter?
Emelianenko: He's a good, strong fighter. He's been in many organizations, such as the UFC and RINGS. He's technically strong and can fight for a long time. He's a tough fighter.
Pride: Kosaka has apparently seen all of your fights from your pro debut to the present. Have you been thinking about Kosaka since your match with him?
Emelianenko: Of course Kosaka has been watching (my fights). I'm sure he watches all fighters that he may have to face. I am, on the other hand, very busy and there are a lot of challengers, so I can't watch all of their fights. I study my opponents after the match has been finalized.
Pride: He said that he can beat you 100% if it's ground fighting. What do you think about that?
Emelianenko: He can say whatever he likes. There was another guy that said the same thing and he wasn't able to beat me, was he?
Pride: He also said that he found your weak point. Do you know what he's referring to?
Emelianenko: Everyone has a weak point (laughing). I'm glad he found my weak point. Congratulations! (laughing) The most important thing is to be able to use it before you lose.
Pride: How are you preparing yourself for this fight mentally?
Emelianenko: I don't know what kind of fight it will be but I plan on making it a fight that will excite the fans.
Pride: Is there anything in particular about Kosaka's techniques or strategy that you have to be careful of?
Emelianenko: Kosaka is a strong fighter. I think I'll keep my concerns a secret for now.
Pride: Do you have a message for Kosaka?
Emelianenko: Let's give a fight to entertain the fans. The last time (2000) wasn't a fair match so I want us to show our real strengths and have a fair fight.
Pride: If you get past this match, there's a title match with Mirko waiting for you. Are you ready to accept his challenge?
Emelianenko: I'm always ready to accept challenges. I've never ran away from an opponent. If the match is confirmed, I'll give it my all but there are many things that have to be decided before we fight. I can't decide this by myself. I have to negotiate along with my manager about many things. I would really like to get the fans' understanding on this.
Pride: Mirko has been waiting two years for a match with you. Do you want to fight him?
Emelianenko: I want to fight him, too, but I hurt my finger two years ago and wasn't able to fight. Then, Mirko lost in the first round of the (2004) Grand Prix and didn't make it far enough to fight me. I think he should have put more thought into the fight...
Pride: Please give us a message for all the fans looking forward to your fight.
Emelianenko: Thank you very much for always supporting me. Everyone's support is very important for me. I'm also very happy that you are looking forward to my fight with Kosaka. I want to give you a good fight, one that you can be excited about. Please continue to support me. SPASIBO!