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Maggie Hendricks

Emelianenko on Rogers, popularity and Strikeforce's plans for him

Maggie Hendricks
Cagewriter

Fedor Emelianenko was exhausted. He had spent the last week in the United States, promoting his upcoming fight against Brett Rogers in Strikeforce, that doesn't yet have a date or location. By Friday night, he still had interviews and a grappling exhibition with Gegard Mousasi, but what perked up "The Last Emperor" was the prospect of watching the young fighters he had worked with.

"I love to watch the young generation, the youngsters," Emelianenko told Cagewriter through a translator during an interview at M-1. "For example, Mikhail Zayats, I've known him for quite a bit, and I really enjoy watching him grow."

"I don't like just to watch fights without thinking non-emotionally about it," he continued. "I really like to worry, and be involved emotionally and worry about someone I know, and to help them. "

He grew more serious when discussing his future opponent, Brett Rogers. Emelianenko gleaned a great deal of information from Rogers' short fights.

"Brett Rogers is a very impressive fighter. I did have a chance to watch him fight and certainly, he's very big, he's very strong, he's very fast, he has a great feeling of distance. His main trick and main thing is his knockout punch."

It was clear that Emelianenko wanted to get back to Starry Oskol, his home in Russia, to train. He has begun to work in a cage, as opposed to the ring he is used to fighting in, since his fight with Rogers for Strikeforce will be in a cage.

As for becoming a superstar in America, Emelianenko doesn't care about that as much as putting on a good show in the U.S.

"To be popular, that's not my desire. I'm not trying to get popular. I do just what I do, and I really enjoy when people like what I do. I try to make MMA popular and interesting for people."

If he gets through Rogers, what is next for the WAMMA champ?

"M-1 Global and Strikeforce, they do have certain plans for me. They have very serious, very strong, and very famous fighters."

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