The fight of the century, PRIDE Heavyweight Champion Fedor Emelianenko versus Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic, is finally here. Originally scheduled for the Final Round of the PRIDE Middleweight Grand Prix two years ago, it is only now, in the August 28 th Final Round of the PRIDE Middleweight Grand Prix 2005, that this fight will become reality.
Pride Fighting Championships: How do you feel since you had the signing ceremony on June 27th? Fedor Emelianenko : I don't feel anything special. I will just do my best from now to prepare for my fight with Mirko.
Pride: Did you speak to Mirko? Emelianenko: There wasn't much time so we didn't speak much. I think we have a good relationship. We were laughing with our eyes. (laughing) Pride: 2 years has passed since your first opportunity to fight each other. Who do you think has benefited the most during these 2 years? Emelianenko: The last 2 years for me have been tough. I've been injured and the recovery was prolonged. Both Mirko and I have grown in these 2 years and I think we have both become stronger. I feel that I've become stronger from doing a lot of different training and I think Mirko is the same. Pride: Conversely, what has been good about this 2 year delay?
Emelianenko: The fight will be more exciting. Pride: You went to Holland many times. Was that because you will fight Mirko? Emelianenko: Yes. I'm always thinking about Mirko. I'm going to Holland again soon. Pride: Is Mirko's scariest weapon his left high kick? Emelianenko: If I had to say one that is the scariest, it would be his left high kick because he's beaten most of his opponents with it. Pride: Magomedov lost to him recently by middle kick because he was so cautious about the high kick. Emelianenko: Everyone knows that Mirko has a good left high kick, and he used that to his advantage. I think he used his best weapon well. Pride: Are you confident that he won't be able to use it against you? Emelianenko: I've been thinking of many ways to defend against his left high kick. Pride: Do you think that Mirko is more dangerous than anyone else you've fought before? Emelianenko: Mirko is very different than everyone else I've fought. I don't think he's dangerous, though. Pride: For example, although their styles are completely different, do you think Mirko or Nogueira is more dangerous? Emelianenko: I've fought Nogueira 3 times and he's a tough opponent. You always have to be extremely careful with him. I've never fought Mirko so I don't know. Pride: Your brother, Alexander, lost to Mirko. Do you want to get revenge for that?
Emelianenko: He told me what he learned there but I cannot say it here. Pride: Will this fight with Mirko have an important meaning in your life? Emelianenko: Of course, I think this will be a big point in my life. Pride: You've said that you would train in the mountains for your fight with Mirko. What kind of benefit does that have? Emelianenko: It's not much different than regular training. I train outdoors and if the weather's bad, I go to the gym and weight train. Pride: Kharitonov said that he trains naked in the snow. Do you do that kind of thing? Emelianenko: You probably won't believe it but I swim in the summer and in winter. There's a spring near my home. Even in the summer, the water temperature is about 0 ℁E. I go swimming a lot. It's really healthy. (laughing)