There's been a lot of bluster coming from Andrei Arlovski's camp in anticipation of his fight this weekend against Fedor Emelianenko. Arlovski isn't a trash talker but his new boxing trainer, Freddie Roach has done his share of dropping smack on the world's best pound-for-pound fighter. Roach, who has worked with top levels boxers like Oscar De La Hoya, Manny Pacquiao and Bernard Hopkins, said weeks ago that Fedor's striking is unimpressive and sloppy.
He may be one of the most well-regarded boxing trainers in the world but does his expertise apply to mixed martial arts and is he qualified to trash Fedor? Josh Barnett is also on the card and has 28 MMA fights under his belt, he thinks Roach sounds like a clown:
"As far as his striking not being impressive, I guess Freddie Roach is going to eat crow. It’s not like what Freddie Roach is used to and what he would normally step into a boxing ring and see across the way. Fedor's striking for MMA is very precise and it's been very successful for him."
Click below to listen to part two of Cage Writer's conversation with Barnett:
Roach stated the gameplan will be to push forward against Fedor. That's a bad move says Barnett:
"The minute you push him, he doesn't go back, he comes forward and he just immediately punches and tries to take you down. If he encounters trouble on the feet, he doesn't try to stay and work his way out of that, he changes gears."
Barnett says Fedor takes the fight where he's going to be successful. He's not married to one style of fighting. You have to wonder with all the boxing training Arlovski is working on, could it turn out to make the Belarussian one-dimensional?
The conversation turned to pro wrestling. Barnett, who also wrestles professionally in Japan, says he would've loved to have been a big pro wrestling star in the '70's when MMA didn't exist. Ask about who he liked better, the entertainers like Hulk Hogan or the tacticians like Bob Backlund, Barnett said he appreciates both types. He did mention that Hogan might surprise a lot of people with the fact that he was a real badass outside the ring.
Cage Writer will be ringside/cageside with live updates at both Affliction 2 on Saturday and WEC 38 on Sunday.