Fedor "The Last Emperor" Emelianenko recently lost to the Bulgarian Blagoi Ivanov in the semi-finals of the World Combat Sambo tournament. Everyone has already began to doubt Fedor and question whether or not he should still be considered the world’s #1 heavyweight mixed martial arts fighter today. What many don’t understand is that Fedor lost in a Sambo match (different rules and has their own scoring system) and not in an MMA fight. Fedor also describes Sambo as his hobby while MMA is his profession.
Here’s a snip from Fedor himself:
"I really do it (Sambo competition) for pleasure, just because I have a desire to do it…I lost to a very good fighter from Bulagaria…I missed a throw. Sambo obviously has different rules, and in an MMA fight, if that were to happen, then it wouldn’t have been a big deal, but it’s a different scoring system and unfortunately, I wasn’t able to do certain things that I would do in an MMA ring…Sambo is dear to my heart, but it’s still a hobby…MMA is my profession, and I think in an MMA ring, he would have very little chance against me…I have my work, and I have my certain pleasures. I don’t think I was in any way differently prepared or ready for that. (Sambo is) just something I do for pure pleasure. The competitor part and the work part is something I devote all my attention to."
Fedor is now currently preparing to defend his WAMMA title against former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei "Pitbull" Arlovski, scheduled to take place on January 24, 2009 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. The match-up will be the headliner of the Affliction: "Day of Reckoning" fight card. Fedor explained what he expects from an opponent who comes from a similar Sambo background:
"I always prepare for a very difficult fight no matter what the qualifications or the specialization of the fighter is…I don’t think his Sambo background will necessarily impose that much more of a difficulty to me…one of his dangers is that he moves very well on his feet, a lot of fights that separate him from his opponents is that he moves very well and causes them a lot of difficulty…Andrei Arlovski is one of the best fighters in the world…I’m ready to get back in the ring."