10-26-2007, 04:00 PM
Status: Favorite Fighter: Palma
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Crawled under a rock
| | Fedor's arrival in U.S. has top fighters jockeying for battle vs. brute
Fans, opponents rushin’ to see Emelianenko |
Russian's arrival in U.S. has top fighters jockeying for battle vs. brute
MIXED MARTIAL ARTS NOTEBOOK
By David Avila
Updated: 2:03 p.m. CT Oct 26, 2007
Unless you’re an ardent fan of mixed martial arts Russia’s Fedor Emelianenko might seem like a name ripe for abbreviation.
That would be a rude mistake rivaling the Berlin Wall.
Emelianenko is considered the greatest MMA fighter in the world by many experts and recently signed a contract to fight with a new organization based in the United States. It gives Americans an upfront look at the Russian marvel.
People now realize he’s also a gentleman.
The group, called M-1 Global is headed by Mitchell Maxwell, is a partner with Emelianenko Russian management. The alliance has the tint of Cold War intricacies and has sparked an international explosion of interest.
“I will be able to meet with different champions and stronger fighters,” Emelianenko said Monday during a conference call.
In recent years Emelianenko has emerged as one of the world’s most intriguing fighters with amazing physical tools. He won the heavyweight championship in 2003 with the now-defunct Pride Fighting Championship.
Replays of his victories on cable stations forced American fans to lobby MMA organizations like Ultimate Fighting Championship (which bought Pride FC) to sign the Russian fighter.
Once Emelianenko’s announcement was made Monday, the Cold War in the MMA began to churn as UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture and UFC president Dana White organized separate press conferences three days later. Both sent verbal missiles at each other, not at the Russian.
Couture had always expressed a desire to match skills with Emelianenko, and he announced he was uninterested in fighting others. He also expressed problems with UFC.
White claimed he was close to a deal with the Russian representatives, but the negotiations broke apart.
Maybe it was the ugly American sentiment that broke the bridge between the Russian representatives and UFC?
Russians and East Europeans come from a region that breeds good manners. Protocol is a very important part of their lives.
Once the Cold War ended in the early 1990s, many boxers from those areas immediately arrived in the U.S. or Australia seeking a more lucrative life. Fighters like Siberia’s Kostya Tszyu, the Ukraine’s Vitali Klitschko and many others made the move from their former countries to world championships in their adopted countries. They also brought their manners.
“Don’t be rude to me,” Tszyu said during a press conference several years ago before meeting New York’s Zab Judah.
Manners and etiquette mean a lot to them, and how they perceive a person they’re about to join in business.
Emelianenko hinted that White’s personality and abrupt manners seemed to persuade him to seek other avenues. That led him to a meeting on an island in the Mediterranean Sea where he spoke with Maxwell about a possible business relationship this past August.
White shrugged off the failure to sign the Russian.
“Good luck to him,” White said.
The will to win is not as great as the will to prepare to win."
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