‘Jeff is a true expert’ – Fedor Emelianenko

Fedor Emelianenko (RIA Novosti / Vitaly Belousov)
Former champion and martial arts legend Fedor Emelianenko is gearing up for the fight against American heavyweight Jeff Monson, which will be held on November 20 in Moscow.

­In his latest fights, the 35-year-old Russian has lost three times in a row. In June 2010, an until-then-unbeaten Fedor was caught on submission by Brazilian Fabricio Werdum. His fellow countryman Antonio Silva delivered Fedor another defeat in February 2011, before the Russian was knocked down by Dan Henderson in July.

“Yes, I’ve lost my last fights, but every time there were definite reasons for that,” Emelianenko told a pre-fight news-conference, Friday.

“Some changes in my family took place at that time and they affected my performance. Certainly, there were mistakes in my preparations. Naturally, I was strained analyzing my fights,” he admitted.

Fedor says he respects his next opponent very much “having followed his career for a long time.”

“[Monson] is a true expert. So the more interesting for me it will be to compete with him,” he said, adding: “I’ve never entered a ring angry. The main thing is to be collected and concentrated. I probably missed that in my last fights.”

“As for the special attention to my person, I take it as is,” Fedor continued. “The more popular a person is, the more often he should communicate with others. People are interested in my private life, preparation and thoughts. I understand that. But I try not to give interviews before fights and never read any scum on the internet.”

Jeff Monson, in his turn, stressed he “has dreamed to visit Russia for a long time.” As for the upcoming fight, he is sure it will be extremely difficult, even despite Fedor’s career being troubled recently.

“I don’t think about Fedor’s latest defeats. Every fight is unique. In his battle with Henderson, Fedor made the only, but fatal mistake. It is not necessary to forget that he didn’t lose or 10 years. So his last failures don’t raise my chances,” Monson said.

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