Today’s Bellator: NYC press conference saw Chael Sonnen doing a lot of clowning on the other people on stage, and of course he went after his opponent Wanderlei Silva, who was calling in on Skype from Brazil. At least one of the men on the stage with Sonnen didn’t seem all that entertained by him, and that man just happens to be a legend – Fedor Emelianenko.
In an interview with Ariel Helwani of MMA Fighting (via a translator), Fedor touched on a few things surrounding his canceled fight with Matt Mitrione from February (which has been rescheduled for the PPV in Madison Square Garden), and offered up his opinion on the West Linn Gangster.
On whether he was offered a replacement opponent when Mitrione went down with kidney stones just before the scheduled February fight:
“Yes we were asked. We were approached with a replacement, but however, (we) decided to go against it. It would be extremely wrong to change the opponent three hours before the fight for us, as well as the potential opponent. So we decided to postpone the fight if possible.”
He stated that he offered both Chael Sonnen and Oli Thompson as opponents, but turned them both down. After stating that he liked the idea of still fighting Mitrione because he was “interesting”, he was asked about Sonnen, who has taken a few shots at Fedor over the years and again today. As you can expect, his answer was rather stoic:
“I think you should always be in control of yourself. I also feel that the more an individual talks outside of the ring, the less he does in the ring.”
When asked again about it, Fedor actually chuckled before giving an answer:
“I don’t agree nor condone that type of behavior among, not just people, but sportsmen within the sport as an athlete.”
Finally, he was asked about why he picked Bellator over the UFC:
“There were a lot of discussions between myself and the UFC. Nothing happened with those discussions. I feel that Bellator is doing a really, really good job with everything that’s been proposed so far. We will see what happens.”
Bellator: NYC, also known as Bellator 180, will go down on June 15th in New York City. Sonnen will face Silva in the main event, while Fedor and Mitrione will go at it in the co-main.
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