Quick question: If you had the opportunity to get advice and perhaps get some training time in with one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the history of mixed martial arts (MMA), would you take it?
While most would be jumping at the chance to pick Fedor Emelianenko's brain for his fighting expertise, most Russian-born fighters are saying "nyet."
That's according to "The Last Emperor" himself, who spoke to M-1 Global (via Bloody Elbow) and said that many of his countrymen reject his help and some don't even seek it. Fedor seems to think it's a matter of pride.
"I can see that I could help many our guys. I can see the mistakes that Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos used to make. Of course, Velasquez is best in our time, but I see his flaws. Still, I can't understand why our fighters can't take what I could give them. Or they just don't want to take it. Many of our fighters consider themselves to be seasoned and experienced fighters. They reject my help many times. So I am only left to work with newcomers. It's easier to work with them."
Speaking of PRIDE, Fedor had one of the most impressive runs in the history of the now-defunct promotion from 2002 to 2006 by winning all 14 of his bouts within the promotion, including multiple title defenses which added to his impressive 31-fight win streak.
Sure, he hit a rough patch by dropping three straight under the Strikeforce banner in the latter part of his career, but that doesn't negate the fact the he is one of the greatest of all time.
After calling it quits in 2012, Fedor has been keen on sharing his knowledge with seasoned MMA Russian fighters to no avail. No fret, as Emelianenko says working with up-and-comers is working out great for himself and the eager students.
Any of you Maniacs puzzled by this revelation?