Former PRIDE FC Heavyweight Champion Fedor Emelianenko has emerged from
the iron curtain his tiny apartment in Stary Oskol to school a few young bucks on the ins and outs of mixed martial arts (MMA). And despite his self-imposed retirement, "The Last Emperor" has still kept himself abreast of current events.
Like the upcoming UFC 166 pay-per-view (PPV) event, which features the rubber match between 265-pound champion Cain Velasquez squaring off against former division kingpin Junior dos Santos, taking place this Saturday night (Oct. 19, 2013) at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
"If Velasquez is going to stick to his usual gameplan, he's going to come out the winner," said Emelianenko. "His biggest advantage is that he can transition, he can switch from one [style] to another. He's a thinking fighter."
That's one way to explain the five-round ass whooping "Cigano" suffered in their second encounter, a heavyweight rematch at UFC 155 last December in "Sin City," one that pulled Velasquez even with Dos Santos after getting put out to pasture on FOX the year before.
A fight that may have not taken place, had UFC President Dana White landed his white whale.
So why wasn't Emelianenko scooped up with the rest of the Strikeforce refuse? Only White knows the answer to that, according to the former Sambo World Champion. But it certainly didn't help that he was using the media to lambaste the "crazy Russians" at every turn.
Despite the fact that it was "right there."
"In my opinion, everything was in Dana White's hands. Because at that moment, I just felt like this guy, he just hates us. Like, personally to [me]. There were insults coming from Dana White all the time. There were many very loud things said, but for real nothing happened."
After a 10-year reign of terror on the international circuit, Emelianenko went in like a lion and out like a lamb, but he's still the best ever, according to this reigning UFC champion. Even Velasquez once considered the elusive Russian to be his "ideal match-up," something the M-1 camp was in agreement with.
Perhaps in another life.