Fedor is motivated, but so am I
I’m just a few days away from my fight with Fedor Emelianenko at Strikeforce here in Chicago. If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve bumped into Fedor a couple of times in the hotel. He looks in shape, but so am I.
I’ve been asked a lot whether or not this is just another fight for me. It isn’t. I don’t think Fedor is just another name. With us both coming from PRIDE, it excites me that I have the opportunity to fight him. I’m ready to go.
I am expecting a very dangerous Fedor in this fight. I don’t buy that he is past his prime. I think people are reading too much into his losses against Fabricio Werdum and Antonio Silva.
I watched both of those fights, and I believe I’d be wrong to think Fedor will not being at his best this Saturday. I think anybody who has his back to the wall coming off two losses is definitely more dangerous.
It seemed like against Werdum, he got cocky with his submission defense and though he wouldn’t get submitted. I think he didn’t do what was needed to get out of the triangle quickly enough, and he paid the price. We all make mistakes, and everybody can get caught. With the loss to Silva, I think he showed up a little out of shape and the size difference definitely got to him in that fight. Again, no one wins them all and it just happens Fedor has lost back-to-back fights.
But I do expect Fedor to be more motivated and also think he’ll be in better shape. I think he’ll try to hit me with the same exact punches he would have tried to hit me with if he had won his last two fights. He’s still the same dangerous fighter and still has that big right hand and his submissions.
I’ve been asked a lot over the last few weeks why I am not putting on more weight for this fight.
Well, I don’t believe adding weight was an option for me. I mean, it’s tough for me to gain weight to fight at 205 lbs., much less people pushing for me to up to 220. I do plenty of weightlifting and eating to get to 205, so I don’t know what else I’m supposed to do make 220. I went for a nice Italian meal last night, and I know it’s not going to make much difference to my weight. I’d have to fall out of shape to get any bigger than I am right now.
But I don’t feel outmatched or small against Fedor. I have a plan to not go right through his power, but I feel I can hurt him with shot and can move him around with my wrestling without needing to prove I am physically as strong as him. I’ve fought bigger, powerful guys before and used my wrestling to move them about.
I think I can use the clinch to control him and will be looking to use my wrestling more than in other fights where I went pretty much for the right-hand KO. I will be looking to knock him out with the right, but I know I will need to set it up and use my wrestling more than in my last couple of fights.
He’s got a big right hand like me, so I am looking forward to standing and banging with him when it comes down to it. I think what has won me a lot of fans and a lot of fights is that I got to finish those fights. Fedor or not, I wouldn’t have wanted this fight if I wasn’t going to go in there to finish him.