— Were there any issues with signing the Ishii fight ?
The main process of negotiation was with the Dream representatives. Because of that there was not much M-1 involvement. From what I know, everything went smoothly. Ishii immediately showed interest in this fight which helped speed up the negotiations.
— Who, except Ishii, did you consider as a possible opponent for Fedor, were there such fighters ?
We were interesting especially in Ishii. Lets say this, for the New Years Eve fight we especially wanted the fight with Ishii --- he is an Olympic Champion and this says a lot. His name is famous around the world, he is young and has potential. This is exactly what Fedor needs. We did not want to fight someone, where fans would then say that this is not a worthy strong enough opponent for Fedor and would critique Fedor. Ishii is a serious opponent will get his dream fight at home in the context of a prestigious tournament on New Years Eve.
— Indeed, Ishii's dream is close to reality. To be able to fight in a famous tournament on New Years' Eve and on top of that to fight Fedor, isn't that too much for a young upcoming fighter ?
His youth is an advantage. Hungry for wins Ishii will have additional motiviation. Firstable, he is at ahome, second, he will be fighter Fedor and this is something that he dreamed of when he came to MMA (Ishii mentioned he wanted to fight Fedor after his Judo career), third, he has a chance to go down in history as someone that beat Fedor Emelianenko. If we are to talk about his experience, then I wouldn't be sarcastic about this. His win in Olympic Judo in the absolute weight class --- this is not a random event, but a sign of definitive mastery.
— Before the fight with Monson, Fedor changed his training process somewhat. As a result, we saw that Fedor changed as a fighter, in particular his tactic. What will be training camp for Fedor tihs time, will it be similar to the last one ?
Yes, it will be exactly the same as for Monson. Even before the Ishii fight was announced, Fedor went to Holland, where he is now. Everyone that trains with Fedor notes his improvement. Indeed, his improvement is noticeable and I am sure you saw it too. His Dutch sparring partners wont' be happy about his stay as Fedor's arms and legs are moving fast and explosive now. This makes us happy.
— How long will Fedor be in Holland ? When will he return to Russia and then go to Japan ?
Fedor will come around the 20'th this month, unsure when exactly. After that he plans to go to his wife, which is in Tule, and after that to Stary Oskol. We didn't yet get the tickets to Japan. I think we will fly out on Dec 27. A time difference of 5 hours is not a big deal, so one need not be concerned about adaptation issues.
— We can only imagine with what interest Japanese fans will wait for Fedor's arrival. Are there planned meetings with Japanese TV ?
Honestly, I don't know. May be we will make some TV meetings, but as of now we don't know. Do understand, the show itself -- this is the actual big TV event. The japanese are able to create a stunning feeling around the tournament. This is always captivating and interesting. Likely, Fedor will meet TV crew after the fight. But again, we can say this firmly after the fight.
— There is information that Fedor will get 500,000$ for the Ishii fight. This is a solid sum considering the financial problems DREAM has experienced lately.
The sum 500,000$ is incorrect. This is all nonsense. At this moment, for us, the key thing is the level of the opponent, and not how much we get paid. I can say that if we were unable to agree with Ishii, we wouldn't participate in this tournament. We had concurrent offers with other DREAM fighters, but this is not for Fedor's level, and we didn't want to have a fight with mediocre fighters, taking a step backwards. We want to be taking steps forward and we will follow this in the future.
— So, these steps forward, likely implies that next year will be rich in events. What will that be for Fedor ?
We want to have 3 fights. One in Russia, one in Europe, and one in the USA. We really want to get a rematch with Werdum, but he is locked up in the prison called UFC, and because of that arranging for him to fight Fedor would be very difficult.
Dana White is like a dog on hay -- he neither eats it himself, nor lets the others eat it. There are many other good fighters, whom we are considering. For instance, Josh Barnett. We need to wait for the StrikeForce HW's tournament to end and then we can see how likely it is that we can arrange a fight.
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