Fabio Maldonado breaks down fight vs Fedor Emelianenko

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Fabio Maldonado breaks down fight vs Fedor Emelianenko

Post by Kinosis on Sun Jun 12, 2016 8:19 pm

For the first time in a live event, legendary heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko will appear on UFC Fight Pass this week.

Emelianenko (35-4) will fight UFC veteran Fabio Maldonado (22-9) at a Eurasian Fight Nights event in St. Petersburg, Russia. That bout, set for June 17, will be streamed on the UFC’s Fight Pass digital network.

Emelianenko emerged from a retirement of more than three years this past December and cruised to a first-round TKO of Jaideep Singh in Japan. His return came after plenty of speculation about where he’d wind up – and the UFC was, naturally, one of the promotions he was rumored to wind up. But Rizin Fighting Federation is where he went to, not the UFC.

The Fight Pass platform streams many promotions’ live events. EFN is the latest organization in the fold – and it just so happens now the UFC gets Emelianenko, just without having him under contract.

Ahead of that fight, which begins at 11 a.m. ET (8 a.m. PT) on Fight Pass, MMAjunkie’s Fernanda Prates spoke to Maldonado about the fight and his expectations for it.

* * * *

Is this the biggest fight of your career?
For sure. I wasn’t expecting a challenge like this after doing so poorly in my last MMA fight. I think Corey Anderson is a good fighter, but he was knocked out by a guy I had defeated (Gian Villante). And that showed decay on my end. If you beat a guy, and then lose to a guy he beat, it means you took a step back. I didn’t lose to his wrestling.

Was the weight a problem against Anderson?
I didn’t want to say anything then because I didn’t want it to sound like I was making excuses. But on the Sunday prior to the bout, I ran for over an hour, not to mention the rest of the fight-specific preparation. The day before the bout, I ran for 45 minutes. Then I asked Glover (Teixeira) about his weight cut and he said he’d ran 15 minutes that day and did some sauna. So maybe I should have rested my legs a little bit more. I know I got taken down, but even when we were striking I didn’t throw many punches. I lost to my own physical preparation, I didn’t lose to his wrestling.

What does fighting a guy like Fedor represent for you as an MMA fighter? Is there a sense of personal accomplishment?
Imagine if you ask a basketball player if they want to play Michael Jordan. It’s like that for me. I’m fighting the man, a legend of the sport. I’d take that fight on a one-day notice. I’m very happy this fight happened. There’s a lot of attention around it and it’s a big commitment, but there’s a lot of joy and happiness that come with it, too.

Recently, the event promoter admitted that Fedor hand-picked you. Why do you think you were his choice?
When I was in Russia to promote the fight, it was me, Fedor, and the promoter between us. Many reporters would tell me, “What if he takes you down? You’re a boxer.” They said, “You know you’re going to lose, right? You’re here just to collect the cash.” Many people said that. And when they talked to him, he said that I was the most dignified fighter on the list, the one with the most heart. He was a total gentleman. (Antonio) “Bigfoot” (Silva) is a great friend of mine, but when Fedor lost to him, we were all a bit sad. It’s normal for Brazilian people to root for Fedor.

I think he’s the most humble fighter in history. If I had reached the level he has, I wouldn’t be that humble. He’s very nice, I can’t say a bad thing about him. We have a score to settle on the 17th, and I thank him for the opportunity and the compliments. A lot of people say he’s done. I say, “Done? How so?” He had a rough patch, but after 10 years undefeated. Old? He’s only three years older than me. I’m no 28-year-old; he’s not much older. And when it comes to our records, he has a huge advantage. He’s the favorite. So I have my hands tied in this one. Why am I going to talk about him, play the bad guy, while he didn’t say a single bad thing about me?

How do you think the fight is going to go?
I expect a close fight. And my concern is on the feet, not on the ground. With (Stipe) Miocic, they were like, “Watch out, he’s going to take you down.” If he takes me down, the fight goes on. I’ve been doing jiu-jitsu my entire life. I think Fedor is stronger and faster than I am. But the fight goes on if I’m taken down.

If he’s faster and stronger, what are your advantages over him?
I have better boxing. I’m not going to fake humility here and say his boxing is better. Even when I got caught in the past, it was due to my own mistakes, because I knew I had better boxing. So I just can’t make a mistake early in the fight. And by mistake I mean being hit hard, not being taken down – which would also be a mistake but a smaller one. I’m aware of his ground and pound, but being knocked down is way worse than being taken down. So I have to start off well. He has one-punch knockout power, so I need to be careful on my feet.

If you win, what do you expect? Maybe a UFC return?
In my opinion, even nowadays, he’s still a top-10 fighter worldwide. He’s very tough. If you match him up against a UFC top-10, he can beat them. So I don’t know about the future. I’m focused on this fight. I’ve had offers to fight in Italy, in the United States. But I didn’t respond to anything, because I’m thinking exclusively about Fedor.

Do you consider staying at heavyweight?
I have to see. I can still make 205, but I need some lead time for that. I am actually lighter now than when I fought at 205. Against (Quinton) “Rampage” (Jackson), I was weighing 246 pounds with three months to go. Against Corey, I had to come down from 238 pounds in 45 days. Some fighters are OK cutting 20 pounds for a fight. But I’m not that type of fighter. The same way some fighters can take more punches than others. It goes from fighter to fighter. I can’t cut too much on fight week. It has to be five or six pounds.

It’s easy to measure the ways in which a fighter can improve his game. ‘Is his wrestling OK, is he slow, does he need to lower his body fat?’ Almost everything can be solved with data and tests nowadays. But the weight cut is still very much played by ear. It’s still a mystery in this ever-evolving sport. Some fighters are better with weight cuts than others. Not all of us are like Gleison Tibau, Francisco Trinaldo or Rafael dos Anjos, who perform well after cutting a lot. Anthony Johnson is a good example of a fighter who found he did better at upper divisions. (Dustin) Poirier, also.

What do you still envision for your career after this?
I always want to fight those who beat me. I fought many big names. I fought Glover Teixeira, Miocic, “Rampage,” Villante, (Joey) Beltran … now I’ll be able to say I fought Fedor. I want to finish my career knowing that I fought everyone. And I would fight all of the guys who beat me again. I don’t regret any of my losses. And I make no excuses. Once Glover Teixeira said I fought the best Glover. I thought Jon Jones had fought the best Glover, but he said I fought his best one. And I said my best UFC performances were against him and Miocic. I got caught, I made a mistake, and I paid the price in both fights. I was in shape for both of them. I can’t take their merit away. For both these fights, I was in better shape than for a lot of my UFC wins, I can tell you that.

Final thoughts on the Fedor fight?
If the fight goes past the first round, it will be a great one. I have to give it my all to get it past the first round.

If you had to put your chances in percents, what are your odds against Fedor?
He’s a favorite. Logically, on paper, he’s got a 99% chance of winning. But in my heart, it’s 50/50.

Source: http://mmajunkie.com/2016/06/fabio-maldonado-breaks-down-biggest-fight-of-career-vs-michael-jordan-of-mma-fedor-emelianenko

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Re: Fabio Maldonado breaks down fight vs Fedor Emelianenko

Post by Kinosis on Sun Jun 12, 2016 8:26 pm

Even Maldonado seems to know he is going to get killed and it's a victory to make it out of the first round lol. Sounds like he is going to try and KO Fedor on the feet and if that fails, just try to survive the first round.

He does have some power as he did rock Glover in their fight and he has a good boxing record.

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Re: Fabio Maldonado breaks down fight vs Fedor Emelianenko

Post by fka on Mon Jun 13, 2016 1:28 pm

I truly hate this layout

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Re: Fabio Maldonado breaks down fight vs Fedor Emelianenko

Post by CDF47 on Mon Jun 13, 2016 3:29 pm

Kinosis wrote:Even Maldonado seems to know he is going to get killed and it's a victory to make it out of the first round lol.  Sounds like he is going to try and KO Fedor on the feet and if that fails, just try to survive the first round.  

He does have some power as he did rock Glover in their fight and he has a good boxing record.

He has some power and an excellent chin. Fedor should take him down and GNP and go for sub.

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Re: Fabio Maldonado breaks down fight vs Fedor Emelianenko

Post by Kinosis on Tue Jun 14, 2016 10:20 am

^Yeah, Fedor can beat him on the feet but Maldonados real chance of winning is landing a punch that hurts Fedor. Plus Maldonado has been shown to be weak against takedowns and GnP. Fedor did say he has been working his ground game and Judo in some interview I saw.

That's the only issue with a fighter around 40, you never know when their chin is going to give out. I didn't expect Bisping to KO Rockhold in the first round so you never know, but Fedor should have a 95% chance of winning this one.

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Re: Fabio Maldonado breaks down fight vs Fedor Emelianenko

Post by CDF47 on Tue Jun 14, 2016 4:57 pm

Kinosis wrote:^Yeah, Fedor can beat him on the feet but Maldonados real chance of winning is landing a punch that hurts Fedor.  Plus Maldonado has been shown to be weak against takedowns and GnP.  Fedor did say he has been working his ground game and Judo in some interview I saw.  

That's the only issue with a fighter around 40, you never know when their chin is going to give out.  I didn't expect Bisping to KO Rockhold in the first round so you never know, but Fedor should have a 95% chance of winning this one.

Exactly my feeling on the fight. I think Fedor smashes him on the feet as well but the more sure bet is the ground.

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Re: Fabio Maldonado breaks down fight vs Fedor Emelianenko

Post by stu3ufc on Tue Jun 14, 2016 7:15 pm

fka wrote:I truly hate this layout

I guess I will like it then

cool layout fellas

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Re: Fabio Maldonado breaks down fight vs Fedor Emelianenko

Post by CDF47 on Wed Jun 15, 2016 8:13 pm

stu3ufc wrote:
fka wrote:I truly hate this layout

I guess I will like it then

cool layout fellas

LOL

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Re: Fabio Maldonado breaks down fight vs Fedor Emelianenko

Post by stu3ufc on Thu Jun 16, 2016 12:08 pm

super fucking excited for this!!!!

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Re: Fabio Maldonado breaks down fight vs Fedor Emelianenko

Post by Kinosis on Thu Jun 16, 2016 1:18 pm

Me too! I'm getting nervous! I've been fine up until today, I always get nervous when Fedor fights. lol

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Re: Fabio Maldonado breaks down fight vs Fedor Emelianenko

Post by CDF47 on Thu Jun 16, 2016 10:56 pm

Fedor fight just hours away.

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