On the night of November 19, one of the main tournaments of the year in the American promotion Bellator will take place in Chicago. The 288th numbered event will be headed by our light heavyweight champion Vadim Nemkov: the Russian will have a rematch with the American Corey Anderson, a belt and a million dollars for winning the League Grand Prix will be at stake. A week before the most important fight, the domestic fighter spoke frankly with the correspondent. ATT). Is this the most intense, if not difficult, training in your career? We (in the “Fedor Team”) also have specific fees. Thank God everything went without injury. The most saturated – yes. Many sparring partners, new acquaintances. I learned how people train in other places, drew conclusions.
Was there a lot of struggle? No, I tried to cover everything. There is a plan for the fight, and I adjusted the training process for it. Remember the fight with Phil Davis: he is also a good fighter, but I didn’t let him squeeze myself into the cage. Only twice in five rounds.
—Saw your picture with Jorge Masvidal. What are your impressions of the UFC's Most Dangerous Gangster?
— A good man, kind and always positive. Only the best impressions. Masvidal trains in the ATT in the general group with everyone: he also wrestles, also boxing. Without any show off.
Regarding his serious conflict with Colby Covington: it was personal, 25 minutes (in the octagon) was not enough and I wanted to sort things out according to street rules. If we lose on the field, we win in the locker room (laughs).
– About training with Fedor Emelianenko: is it true that the legend practically does not praise his fighters? very demanding. If you succeed, he notes, no – he says to work. Both praises and scolds. But there is no such thing that he only walked and pointed to the jambs. The main thing is that he sees that you turn on your head and try.
– This time, almost without tension. On Wednesday after a workout, 98 kilograms was – 5 kg will be left in a week, this is normal for me.
— Share what you do in your free time?
– You picked a good time for the interview (the conversation took place at 11:00 am American time and at 19:00 Moscow time – ed. note). I have one training session each, now I have more rest … I wake up here, it's already 16-17 hours in Russia. While talking with family, friends, they are already going to bed. I watch serials, English to teach: in Thailand and here I watched “The House of Dragons” on the “Game of Thrones”, I liked it. And the season of (science fiction drama series) “See”. in training? Shelling in Belgorod, where the family lives…- Belgorod is practically not shelled, for two weeks already. But I worry: when some news comes about possible shelling, I send my family to the village, it is farther from the border. The parents are calm there.
— Partial mobilization in Russia ended a couple of weeks ago. Were you ready for the fact that you, as a paratrooper, might receive a summons?"I served in the special forces of the Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU). We have a group of my conscription, there are 20 people there – only one received a summons, the military registration and enlistment office said to be on the phone. As far as I know, infantry, tankers, paratroopers, artillerymen are now required. The GRU special forces have slightly different tasks … But everything can be. strong>— Tell me what went wrong in the first battle? There was a feeling that the situation was getting out of control.
– The main thing is to approach the second fight in optimal shape. As in the same fight with Ryan Bader (in 2020, Nemkov defeated the American and took the championship belt – ed.), Phil Davis, Julius Anglikas. I'm on my way to it, health is good.
There was no such thing that Anderson moved me one gate. Yes, the problem was with the protracted preparation: somewhere I didn’t recover, somewhere I didn’t rest – there was an overload. Plus, the news is not the most positive in the world and our country. All this has had an impact.
– A colossal burden of responsibility is on you even now.
“For the third month I have been preparing for revenge. I relaxed, tuned in. The main thing is to fight, win and go home. Of course, the burden of responsibility is felt, but I try not to think about it. us”.
– In April, experts and fans felt that the American was more difficult than you thought. Really underestimated?- You can't talk about it. I take all opponents seriously. I repeat: the problems occurred at the preparation stage. The first round went well, and then some kind of tin began. It feels like the car's gas supply hose has been cut — it's still on the move, but it can't accelerate. It’s the same here: the second round, but I can’t fight.
My cant, of course… You feel bad, bad sparring, then why do you go out to fight? But it's not in our rules to “merge.” cage and said, “You didn't win. You hit your head.” Discussed this episode with the coach?
– I remember that the attention of the media was fixated on this, but quickly left. Basically Corey Anderson headbutted me twice in the third round. We worked in the rack, he went to me. I wanted to squeeze into the cage. And he hit his head in the chin: I still thought that I was in control, and did not understand where the blow came from. And the second time he hit (in the stalls), Fedor told him about it, he said it right. I was from below, he jumped.
Could an American be disqualified for headbutting? The judges did the right thing by declaring the fight a no contest. At stake is the title of champion, the victory in the Grand Prix … Even if he hit his head, it's better to make a No contest and let him fight a second time. This is the best development. And in terms of boys, and in terms of sports (laughs).
– Do you admit that it will come to a trilogy?
– Anything can be . But in order to talk about the trilogy, you need to fight now, then again … Still, the first fight did not take place, I do not consider it.
Bellator out of range
– The most disgraceful situation with the broadcasts of tournaments in Russia. How is it possible that a Russian is leading the card, and in his homeland, fans should look for “pirates” to cheer for their own?
"It's a shame, of course. When I watched (pirated broadcast from Poland) the fights of Valentin Moldavsky, Anatoly Tokov, at the time of their release on the air, they turn off the broadcast, they give a picture that viewing is prohibited for Russians. Chopped off at the very exit of our fighters. The fact that there are no original broadcasts, showing in Russia is generally some kind of nonsense!
— By the way, about the Last Emperor. Emelianenko was surprised by the resonant words Alexander Karelin about mixed martial arts. Were you dumbfounded too?- I knew for a long time that Alexander Karelin treats MMA this way. I just don't understand why? After all, if it were not for mixed martial arts, then many athletes (did not find themselves). An amateur does not go in wrestling, sambo, judo, at the Russian championship you take sixth or seventh place, you don’t go anywhere, tournaments are poorly paid. But there is a spirit, a desire – you can try yourself in MMA, earn a little. You don’t have to quit sports at 20, and a career in mixed martial arts can work out. Still, there is a big popularization of MMA now.
Fedor correctly said: there are professional leagues that develop the sport, and there are leagues that, on the contrary, are dragging down. The topic is interesting: some consider this phenomenon an image blow to professional mixed martial arts, others – an excellent popularizer of combat sports with millions of views on YouTube.
– There is pop-MMA, where semi-professionals fight. But sometimes zeros fight, bloggers. Mongol, Bazooka Hands… People get used to it and stop watching the pros, follow the technique, the beauty of MMA. This, I think, is what they are doing badly, that the attitude is not the same for professionals. , judges can “substitute” with a verdict?This fear has haunted me all my life. Coaches have taught since childhood: you have to finish ahead of schedule to be sure of victory. In this period, this is more relevant than ever: I fight in America with an American. Even if there were no such geopolitical situation, there is a possibility that you will be sued. It's the same with an American in Russia – when you're a guest, the likelihood of injustice is higher than at home.
In RIZIN, I fought Karl Albrektsson. Then I looked, considered: it was on a thin one, I won, but they gave the victory to him. The first round, 10 minutes, I took, the second one I lost. In the third, I got into the fight myself, and the Swede got behind the ring. Once we fell out hard… In the end, I took the third, but the victory (by a split decision) was given to the Swede. It turns out that I gave a reason.
— Petr Yan's duel turned into a scandal again.
"I think Petr won. But there were moments in the third round, he was taken by a small advantage by Sean O`Malley. And the first two are Peter. The first five-minute period was with a slight advantage, and the second – by one wicket. However, the first round was decided by two judges that Sean won. But Peter won anyway: I watched the fight and I know how everything happens.
— And how to resist such arbitrariness? Or breaking, breaking five rounds – I think it's unlikely that the fight will be given to the opponent.
Khabib's team captures MMA
– Usman will fight in front of you at Bellator 288 Nurmagomedov. What do you expect from a compatriot in the fight against Patricka Freire for the lightweight title?- Usman has every chance to win. He is creative in the stand, in the fight he catches on painful and suffocating techniques. But Usman has not yet had such a serious opposition. He did not fight with the tops, although he went through good middle peasants, as they say, on one leg.
I would like to see Nurmagomedov in a cage with an experienced fighter, a strong striker and a good wrestler.
– We talked about Usman – let's talk about Islam Makhachev. Russia has a new UFC champion.
— To be honest, I was very worried about Islam. Charles Oliveira is the kind of guy who can bring surprises. Loses rounds, falls into knockdowns, and then resurrects. It seems that after he is hit, he gets up and starts to think. But Islam did everything in beauty! He moved, without a chance either in the “shock” or in the fight. Finished the fight great: hit, strangled. But I did not expect that Islam would declassify Oliveira in such a way."Makhachev became a champion for a long time, he has a lot of defenses ahead of him. For some reason I was still worried: I was confident in his striking technique and wrestling, but the psychology … He fought in Abu Dhabi, in front of his own audience. There are many sheikhs with whom the guys communicate. The attention of the whole world on Islam also represents Khabib Nurmagomedov, the father of Khabib (the late Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov). But he did it.” classic. What do you like about American life and what, on the contrary, annoys you?
– At first, when I arrived, it seemed that everything was expensive. Salaries are different. But in Los Angeles and Miami, it's a sin to complain about something. Always summer, good roads. However, long distances: if you are going somewhere, you should immediately lay down 30-40 minutes. I'm used to that in Belgorod 20 minutes to any point.
— Will you visit the capital of jazz for the first time?
—Yes. Now I am in Miami, also here for the first time. Before the fight, it is unlikely that you will be able to get acquainted with Chicago, you won’t walk much before the weigh-in. But we won’t sit at home anyway: after the fight, we will fly out the next day at eight in the evening, we’ll take a walk in the afternoon.
— You spend a lot of time overseas. What cities in the USA impressed you?
— All are cool. I won’t say that I’m a fan of a particular city: Los Angeles, New York, Miami – everyone liked it. But there are certain moments … In the same New York, it's dirty, there are a lot of homeless people. Miami has less of that.