In the interview with MMAYOU.com Fedor discusses UFC, Dana White, combat sambo, BJ Penn, Josh Barnett, Rickson Gracie and number of other topics.
MMAYOU.com: The number one question everyone is wondering, why didn't you sign with the UFC?
Fedor: We didn't sign the contract there because we were offered a one-sided contract on unacceptable conditions.
MMAYOU.com: You stated Mirko was your toughest fight in Pride, why? And would you give Mirko a rematch?
Fedor: I don't think Mirko was the strongest fighter. I just say he was of the toughest. There were los of top fighters in Pride: Barnett, Nogueira, Alexander, Sergei Kharitonov, Werdum, Igor Vovchanchyn. As for Mirko, he fell on evil times and it's a big question if he personally wants a rematch now.
MMAYOU.com: A lot of people train Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as a base. You train Sambo as your base. What is your opinion of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?
Fedor: I think highly of BJJ. But I see some disadvantages as well. Jiu Jitsu is a rather good Martial Art base. But one need to guide newcomers at the very beginning in order to avoid and eliminate the future mistakes. I can't say combat sambo or bjj have more or less advantage in case of transition to MMA. If people get involved in it, it's only for their good. Moreover it helps popularize the sport itself. For me, personally, combat sambo is the native sport ans this is the reason I believe sambo is more versatile, dynamic, free and less monotonous.
MMAYOU.com: Both you and BJ Penn are looked at by many to be the top pound for pound fighters in the world. What do you think of BJ Penn?
Fedor: I like him as fighter. Unfortunately, I haven't seen too many of his fights. I follow his career by checking the ratings though.
MMAYOU.com: Who are you interested in fighting?
Fedor: I'm interested in many of them, top ten for sure. I can't say I watch all their bouts but I'm informed of every result of the fights they take part in. I watch the fights I'm interested the most though.
MMAYOU.com: What do you think of fighting Josh Barnett? What do you think of him as a fighter?
Fedor: Barnett is a good fighter. We are good friends with him. We always chat when we see each other. If we don't meet up we mail with each other. I'm aware of the fact such bout is planned but I haven't been told anything about it as of yet.
MMAYOU.com: What's your secret to staying so calm in the ring? What kind of mental training do you do?
Fedor: That's no secret. I'm calm by nature. I just do my job.
MMAYOU.com: What's your motivation now?
Fedor: I want to win, stay involved in what I like the most. I want to bring in a worthy Russian fighter as a future substitute for me. I want Russian banner to be placed in the first lines of the magazines regardless their bias. We have a lot of young guns who will, hopefully, show themselves in the coming 2-3 years. They are still young, a bit raw, but possess tons of energy, aspiration and motivation.
MMAYOU.com: Have you considered moving to the US?
Fedor: Here is my fatherland, all my near relations and family live in Russia. It has no sense to leave the place I've lived my whole life.
MMAYOU.com: What do you think of Dana White?
This person talks a lot, sometimes rashly without having thought before.
MMAYOU.com: Who is in your opinion the greatest fighter ever? And who do you look up to?
Fedor: I don't consider whether the fighter is great or not. Few fighters stand on the front lines though: Randy Couture, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Tim Sylvia, Josh Barnett in a random order. I respect them all. It's very unpleasant though when your read someone's interview in which he speaks badly of me. I have never been disrespectful to any of them.
MMAYOU.com: How do you think a fight between you and Rickson Gracie would go?
Fedor: This fight is a no go. Rickson wouldn't take part in it.
MMAYOU.com: Who is your next opponent?
Fedor: My next bout will be organized in the USA. I can't say anything about my opponent at the moment.