Psychologist: Emelianenko’s staredown like a psychopath’s
“If a fighter gets under his opponents skin, it is the equivalent of getting the plague.”
“The best when it comes to the staredown is Fedor Emelianenko. Watch him: he does not make eye contact and his entire expression is extremely relaxed – you would think he is about to perform a ballet or something.
“But here is the crucial thing. When the referee tells them to head back to their corners, Fedor suddenly darts a short look directly at his opponent – or through his opponent, I should say.
“This kind of look is associated with antisocial behavioural disorders and psychopaths. They don’t look at you, they look through you. It’s emotionless, it goes deeper than skin level.
“You will get a lot of fighters who will catch that look and suddenly realise they don’t want to be there.
“Wanderlei Silva has a stare-down that makes you think ‘this is gonna hurt’, but Fedor’s makes you think ‘s—, I might die’.”
Dr Joe Bell, Pyschologist
Mind Games: Psychological Warfare in MMA,
Fighters Only magazine, issue 56