Russian sambo legend Vladimir Voronov has had the pleasure of helping mould one of the greatest MMA fighters in history, you see, Voronov has been training Fedor “The Last Emperor” Emelianenko since the former Pride champion was just 12yrs old. Voronov spoke to Anton Gurevich at Lowkick Blitzcorner.com about his student’s upcoming fight and his future:
Anton Gurevich: You recently returned from the training camp in Kislovodsk, where Fedor Emelianenko continued his preparations for the fight against Dan Henderson. What was different in this training camp, comparing to the last one you had for Antonio Silva?
Vladimir Voronov: We had a very successful training camp in Kislovodsk. There are no big differences from the previous one. Although we made some adjustments for Henderson as an opponent and to the intensity of Fedor’s training.
AG: Henderson recently stated that he thinks Fedor has problems with motivation. What can you say about Fedor’s motivation coming to this bout?
VV: Right now, he’s very motivated. It’s hard to say what will happen during the fight, because it all depends on Fedor. As coaches, we have done and are doing everything in our power to help Fedor reaching the peak of his physical and psychological condition. Now, everything depends on Fedor.
AG: What in your opinion is the key for victory against Dan Henderson?
VV: The will to win.
AG: Many people in Mixed Martial Arts community think that Fedor should move down to 205. Do you think Fedor will be more effective as a fighter at that weight?
VV: I can’t see any sense in Fedor moving down to 205. Why would he do it? To run away from someone? I think that if Fedor returns to the previous workload, today’s Heavyweights will struggle against him. The most important thing here is to have the right motivation and training regime. If you want to win, you have to play by the rules.
AG: You’re training Fedor since he’s 12. What can you say about his evolution as a fighter, since his first day in your gym, through PRIDE days and until today?
VV: Obviously, Fedor grew and matured a lot since his early years in the sport. There’s a lot of changes, psychological and physiological. He still has the same character. Maybe he’s a little tired of the sport. He trains all the time, since his childhood, and managed to maintain all his human qualities.
Fedor Emelianenko Vs Dan Henderson will finally lock horns in the Strikeforce cage on July 30.