TOTAL ELIMINATION PRE-FIGHT INTERVIEW WITH FEDOR EMELIANENKO
04/24/2004

Some people have said that Fedor has changed. He was always quite and expressionless before but recently he's been laughing and smiling. It looks like the change in teams has been good for him.

 

       

 

Pride Fighting Championships: You were smiling a lot when you faced the press. Are you happy that you are finally back in PRIDE?
Fedor Emelianenko : Wait a second. Japanese people have said that I left PRIDE but that has never happened. I've always wanted to continue to fight in PRIDE. That has nothing to do with the smile, though. I just felt good and smiled.
Pride : Your coach has changed too since you changed teams. What has gotten better and worse as a result?
Fedor : I was watching the Red Devils before I made my move. They are good as a club. Not just the name but they have club activities, a sports gym, trainers, coaches and great fighters and staff. They've got high-level trainers. I really feel that the Red Devil's activities are designed to make the fighter better. The bad thing is that I've received bad treatment from people that I trusted 100% to this point. I'm not really worried about it but it's not good.
Pride : There are some fighters that get weaker when they change coaches?
Fedor : I'm not worried. I've had trainers looking at me since I was a small kid. My judo and sambo coach and my boxing coach are working together for me now.
Pride : Everyone at the Grand Prix will be after you, the Champion. Did you feel that at the press conference?
Fedor : Really? I didn't feel that at all. (laughing)
Pride : Nogueira looks like he's thinking ?? want to beat you in a rematch??Ewhenever he looks at you.
Fedor : He looked nervous at the press conference. Thanks for telling me why. (laughing)
Pride : Although there are 16 fighters starting out, it looks like it will ultimately be a battle between 3.
Fedor : You're right. Mirko, Nogueira and I are probably on a different level than the other fighters. However, there are a lot of different fighters from different fields and I think they are all strong. I won't say anything bad about them. They've all got an equal chance and we may even see a surprise or two.
Pride : Who do you think will be easier to fight, Mirko or Nogueira?
Fedor : They are both really strong. I absolutely cannot say who would be the easiest.
Pride : Okay. If you had a choice, would you rather face them early in the tournament? Or wait until the Final Round in August?
Fedor : I cannot decide that. That's for PRIDE to decide. I will obey their choice.
Pride : It's been 3 months since your last fight. Have you improved yourself?
Fedor : I practice every day and I'm always trying to grow so I think I have grown.
Pride : Will you enter the Grand Prix as the Champion, to prove your strength, or as a challenger?
Fedor : I haven't decided yet. I'm still studying now. I'm only thing I'm thinking about is how I can knock him down and how I can win.
Pride : Is it okay to lose, if you have a good fight?
Fedor : No. Losing itself is not a good fight for me. (laughing). I want to have a good fight, including winning.
Pride : You said that you are representing your country, rather than your Championship, in the Grand Prix. Is that like you are in the Olympics?
Fedor : No, I just feel that I'm here representing my country. I always feel like that.
Pride : So, you're confident of your victory.
Fedor : I have confidence in myself. I've trained a lot for the Grand Prix and I will be in my best condition for the fight. And, to the best of my ability, I want to show a good fight. I have confidence in that.