Notably quiet and reserved, it’s rare that Emelianenko really elaborates about his fights, whether he wins or loses.
“Fedor’s mentioned to me after his last three fights that he could have won, but that he felt something went wrong at a certain moment in the fight,” said Finkelstein, “but he felt like he could’ve totally won the fights.”
Another subject Emelianenko won’t broach is his family life. I’ve asked him about it in the past and he’s always politely declined my questions. Emelianenko’s also the type of fighter who doesn’t make excuses for his losses, but Finkelstein filled me in on the drama that followed the Russian fighter to America last July
“Prior to his last fight (against Henderson), Fedor’s wife was giving birth right as he was flying over,” said Finkelstein. “He actually found out about the birth of his (third) daughter as he made a connecting flight in Germany on his way to Chicago. There were some medical complications with the birth and he was extremely worried. It was a difficult time and there was a lot of psychological pressure, so maybe he wasn’t all there in his mind.”
As promoter and manager, Finkelstein was able to select Emelianenko’s next opponent. He said former UFC contender Monson, whose name has swirled around Emelianenko since his days in Pride, was the most decorated candidate of the fighters available. With Emelianenko in a three-fight rut, he doesn’t consider Monson a sure thing by any stretch either.
“All I can do is hope is Fedor’s luck will return to him again,” said Finkelstein, who’s worked with the fighter since 2003. “I’m always worried, though. I’m worried before this fight in November.”
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