By Anton Gurevich
On July 30th, Fedor Emelianenko will step inside the Strikeforce cage for the 4th time in his career, this time facing fellow MMA legend and former PRIDE Champion Dan “Hendo” Henderson at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. The fight against Henderson will be a defining moment in Emelianenko’s illustrious MMA career, as he will look to bounce back from two consecutive defeats, against Fabricio Werdum via submission and Antonio Silva via TKO (doctor’s stoppage).
One of the men behind Fedor’s success as a Mixed Martial Artist is his eternal Sambo coach and mentor Vladimir Voronov, who has trained “The Last Emperor” since the age of twelve. Voronov holds numerous honors as a Sambo specialist and coach, including the prestigious “Honoured Coach of Russia”. We had an opportunity to speak to the Sambo legend about Fedor Emelianenko’s preparations for Dan Henderson, motivation, the state of Russian MMA and much more…
Everyone was surprised to see Fedor and Alexander Emelianenko training together recently. What kind of effect did it have on Fedor’s preparation?
Well, first of all, they are brothers. Alexander wanted to train and he joined us for this camp. I consider him to be the second best Russian fighter after Fedor. And that’s exactly why having him as a sparring partner was a very positive thing for Fedor.
Henderson recently stated that he thinks Fedor has problems with motivation. What can you say about Fedor’s motivation coming to this bout?
Right now, he’s very motivated. It’s hard to say what will happen during the fight, because it all depends on Fedor. As coaches, we have done and are doing everything in our power to help Fedor reaching the peak of his physical and psychological condition. Now, everything depends on Fedor