Pre-PRIDE SHOCKWAVE 2006 Interview with Fedor Emelianenko and Mark Hunt

Pre-PRIDE SHOCKWAVE 2006 Interview with Fedor Emelianenko and Mark Hunt




Fedor Emelianenko: My condition is good, as always. After the Las Vegas fight, I went to a training camp in the mountains for four weeks. I really did a lot of training in boxing and muay thai. I always train in nature, so I didn't do anything special this time. I didn't practice muay thai a lot just because my opponent is Hunt. I just did what I always do. Of course, I trained with a strategy in mind for this fight with Hunt.
Hunt was a K-1 Champion and he beat Mirko at the last New Year's Eve event. I realize that he's a strong opponent, of course. I rate Hunt highly and I wasn't surprised at all that he has become the challenger in a title match.
Do I want to beat Hunt with strikes? I don't know right now. I'll think about it as we're fighting. This is a title match but I train seriously for my regular matches too, so I don't feel anything special. I want to win, close out this year and greet the New Year warmly. I will fight the strong, famous Mark Hunt on December 31st, so I pray that the fans will support me with their warm hearts.
It's true that I injured my toe. I injured it two weeks ago. It wasn't in very good condition then but now I am training normally.
Of course I know that Mirko is now the PRIDE Open Weight Grand Prix Champion. Congratulations! If Mirko still wants to fight me, I would like to have a title match.
Mark Hunt: I feel the same as usual. I was surprised when I first received the title match offer. I felt proud that they put this match together in my 8th PRIDE fight, and I was so happy.
I knew I would have to fight Fedor eventually but the opportunity came a lot quicker than I expected. I've fought him many times in my mind already. That's just in my head, though. I've won most of those fights, by the way. (laughing)
Fedor showed that he has incredible striking technique in his fight against Mirko and I think his striking ability is top level. He's the PRIDE Champion and he stands above everyone else. He has all-around ability in throwing, striking and submissions. That's why he's undefeated. I have to consider the possibility of this fight going to the ground, so I have to do everything that I possibly can.
The reason people say you can't see his punches is because his speed and timing are amazing. He's a top-class striker, so it's very difficult to read the speed and timing of his punches. They're difficult to anticipate. At the press conference yesterday, Josh said that I can KO Fedor but Fedor can't KO me. However, I think anybody can be knocked out and I have to be careful in this fight, too.
I had things to work on after the last fight with Josh. Very little time has passed since I started mixed martial arts and I still have a lot to learn. In terms of jujitsu and submission techniques, I wasn't thinking about anything except escaping before. I was able to change that way of thinking, though.
When I won in K-1, I fought Jerome LeBanner. Everyone said LeBanner had the advantage at that time but I won by KO. I've heard that people think Fedor has an advantage in this fight too, and that's good for me. There's no pressure at all, and everyone doesn't expect me to win at all costs, so I can fight like my true self. Fedor, on the other hand, could lose his title and his undefeated record, so he must be feeling a lot of pressure.
To my fans, thank you for your support. I will do my best to win.