Affliction/M1 "Day Of Reckoning" MMA Update
“I don’t really have any strategy for this fight.” –
The number one MMA heavyweight in the world, Fedor Emelianenko discussing his upcoming title bout against Andre Arlovski.
By Dennis Bernstein, MBA
Affliction MMA’s golden goose, Fedor Emelianenko is best known for his cool, calm demeanor in the ring just before reigning down destruction on his opponent. At Thursday’s teleconference, Fedor revealed the same personality when discussing the ramifications of the January 24 bout at the Honda Center. Working through interpreter Steve Bash, the champion’s tenor never changed, he’s as matter of fact in his answers and he is with his punches.
Kicking off the festivities on the call was a new addition to the mix, Donald Trump, Jr. of the Trump Organization. The junior Trump has the unenviable task of attempting to walk in his famous father’s shoes as the organization’s face in this partnership. Sounding a lot like Trump, Sr. both in accent and content, Trump spoke about producing the card with Affliction and the specter of the all powerful UFC in the sport. “I don’t think there’s any business model that succeeds with one organization controlling everything. There’s plenty of room for a second horse in the race,” Trump Jr. reasoned. Fedor also addressed the inability of being unable to come to terms with the rival promotion, “I don’t know what they’re thinking over there,” the champ eloquently related.
As far as training for the highly anticipated match, Emelianenko tipped his hand a bit on the progression as fight night draws near and then addressed criticism directed at him by Arlovski’s trainer, Freddie Roach. “The first few weeks are no different for any particular fight. I’m already there physically but I have to work on my speed and accuracy. By fight night, I’ll be ready. I know have flaws in my striking but I’m working on that. As far as any comments made by another trainer, he’s a boxing trainer and I don’t worry about it. We’ll see happen happens on the 24th.” Regarding his opponent’s toolbox, he admitted that this might be the most difficult fight of his career, “Andre doesn’t have a signature submission move like (Mirko) Cro Cop or (Antonio) Nogueira but what makes him so dangerous is that he is as well rounded as any fighter in the game.” He went on to disclose that he doesn’t plan ahead before he steps in the ring, “I don’t have any strategy for this fight, it unfolds as the fight develops,” and went on to dispel an urban legend that developed after his 36 seconds destruction of Tim Sylvia. A story came out that in the minutes leading up to the bout, Fedor was embroiled in a card game backstage and when it was bout time, he simply got up from his seat, walked the aisle and dispatched Sylvia. “I don’t know where that story came from, that’s has no truth to it. I take a lot of care to focus and concentrate on the match on the day of the fight.” Though a heavy favorite (sportbook.com has Fedor a -350 choice), this fight stands to be much more competitive than the Sylvia match but that’s true if the fight lasts a minute.
M-1 Global, the promotional company that has Fedor under contract, was represented by its president Vadim Finkelstein. The Russian head man told viewers to tune in early to the PPV to watch 20 year old Kiril Sidellnikov. Known as “Baby Fedor,” Sidellnikov trains and fights with the champ out of the Red Devil Sport Club; Emelianenko claims that the kid could be the future of the heavyweight division…….The biggest winner of the night may be the charismatic Josh Barnett. Never at a loss for words, Barnett may face a stand in if scheduled opponent Gilbert Yvel can’t pass his physical. Josh is a whopping -675 favorite to get Fedor sometime this year….A lot has been made about the comparison of Affliction to UFC, some of it fair, some not. While the fledgling organization has had its fits and starts with the Las Vegas card cancellation being the biggest black eye but comparing Affliction 2 to UFC 94 is asking a bit much. I’d win a race against Secretariat with a 92 length head start….. The scheduled 11 fight card will be televised in a split fashion with HD Net doing the first five bouts including former champion Nogueira, while the PPV will close the show. For more information on the entire card, visit http://www.afflictionclothing.com/dayofreckoning/