Master Of the Octagon
Marketing itself as a blood sport was a huge misstep by ultimate fighting. But the sport has adjusted on the fly while finding a mainstream audience with the help of appealing champion Randy Couture, reports Dave Stubbs.
Joe Stevenson is one of the world's elite mixed martial arts fighters, but he says he's almost envious when he watches Josh Burkman fight.
New Fedor Interview!
translated by judokas
-What you think of Pride being sold etc.? How will it affect MMA?
-I don’t know, I hope it’ll be for better. Unfortunately new bosses are trying to impose their will on us and we’re having some trouble coming to an agreement with them. I hope it works out and they give us good terms, because Bodog is not as popular right now.
-What you think of rules change in Pride?
-bad idea, the rules that were in Pride before are well known to fans of Pride, they are used to them, when you change rules you’re going to lose some audience, happened many times before.
-Who are you in talks with now?
-I’m being offered k1 contract, Bodog as well, right now we’re not having an agreement with new bosses of Pride.
-What you think about Pride losing it’s top HWs to UFC?
-It’s not a loss, they’ll fight in BOTH, that is also what my possible contract looks like.
-How do you handle rude people, anybody try to bully you outside the ring?
-People that I’m around are very nice and we almost never have this problem. I always try to solve problems by explaining to people that they’re wrong. Everyone is nice to me (laughs)
-How are top fighters outside the ring and in it?
-Mostly fighters are nice outside the ring and relaxed, we have a good laugh often. Wanderlei, for example, is very nice outside the ring and my good friend, but in the ring he presents himself as a very scary terrible warrior. Mirko and Nogueira are very nice, but before our fights they tried to avoid my company, only saying hello and that’s it.
-How do you react to other fighters bad mouthing you? Any specific fighter that you don’t like personally?
-There are good and bad comments about me from many fighters, when it’s bad it’s not very nice to hear (laughs) but I’m not mad because they do it to attract attention to themselves, they don’t mean it really.
-cage or ring, which do you prefer to fight in?
-No difference to me, I trained in a cage at first, it’s all the same thing I think.
-Your thoughts on doping control in MMA, do you know fighters that do it?
-I like how UFC tests, Pride closes it’s eyes on a lot of this stuff and that’s not good. I know several fighters that use performance enhancing drugs but I’ll not say who, because it’s their personal business and I can’t sell anyone out.
-Were you offered to be on the big Los Angeles show in June?
-Why did you choose to train in Holland?
-In my opinion they are the best kickboxers and I go there often to raise my striking skills, one of my managers is from there, Sapi, and he’s organizing for us to train together again soon, we’re on great terms with them.
-Who you think is the best in MMA after you?
-oh, I don’t think of myself as the best, I admire and respect Couture, also Crocop, Nogueira and Arlovski, there are many fighters who are really great and deserve admiration.
-What you think your chances are in k1? Do you want to try k1?
-Everyone must do what they love, Ernesto Hoost loves Thai boxing and does it all his life, for me I want to do MY thing that I trained for, I wouldn’t want to fight and then heal up for 6 months. I’m not feeling k1 really.
-Is Judo good base for MMA?
-Judo is very good, but more important is: How well will the new MMA fighter develop his other skills after his amateur carrier in Judo is over.
-Do you try to improve, learn new things like kicks or just try to perfect what you already know really well?
-I try to learn new things all the time. I’m working hard on my kicks, it’s not on autopilot yet, but I think soon my kicking will “fly”.
-Is there a chance to see you fight your brother in a Pride ring?
-I don’t think so, but sounds to me like he wants to, he’s always talking about it.
-What you think of recent upsets?
-Henderson is top fighter; hence he didn’t upset Wanderlei, one of them had to lose. Crocop was a lot better than the Brazilian fighter, but failed to perform to his potential, and lost badly. I hope this’ll motivate him like after Randleman fight when he came back and began to KO people non-stop.
-Are there great fighters that never got a chance to fight in MMA or Combat Sambo? Can anyone beat you in Combat Sambo, or has anyone?
-No. Anyone can enter Combat Sambo Russian Championships if they want to prove something, and this year I won it, I’ll be representing Russia at the World Championships next. In MMA it’s harder to get into ofcourse.
-What did you want to be when you were a child?
-I always wanted to be a top great athlete, but I was not athletic, my dreams couldn’t come true because many of my classmates were faster, better coordinated and bigger than me.
-Favorite foreign actors? Music?
-I like Bruce Willis, I listen to all kinds of music and like many actors.
-Your shoe size and your brother’s?
-46, but Aleks is wider.
-Are you a happy man? Would you change anything in your life if you could go back?
-I’m happy, surely I’d change a few things if I could do them over, but I’m happy now.
AM Update – May 16
While injuries are never welcomed in mixed martial arts, they can open the door for another to get his long-awaited shot or wage his comeback.
Couture's Foundation to aid Soldiers in need
Heavyweight Champion Randy Couture sees the headlines. He reads about the tragedies, hears many wonder what the youth of the United States are doing to effect change in this world, and the prognosis is almost always negative.
Terry Martin Is Pretty Smart (Scroll Down For evan Tanner)
When it comes to educated UFC fighters, notables such as Rich Franklin (bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a master’s degree in education) and Jeff Monson (bachelor’s degree and master’s degrees in psychology) are some of the first names mentioned.
Jeremy Stephens Ready For UFC Debut
At just 20 years old, Jeremy “Lil’ Heathen” Stephens looks to make an impact in the UFC’s deep lightweight division. The Des Moines, Iowa fighter recently signed a contract to debut at UFC 71 on May 26th.
WEC 27 Fighter Salaries
MMAWeekly has obtained the fighter salary information for WEC 27, which took place on May 12th in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event was the WEC's third since being purchased by UFC parent company Zuffa.
Exclusive Interview: UFC's Quinton "Rampage" Jackson
Interviewer: So, your last loss was to Mauricio Rua, a pretty ugly fight, you were beat up pretty bad in that fight. Is that the worst beating you’ve ever taken in a professional fight?
Rampage: Why do you choose to ask me questions like this?
LOL, It doesn't sound like Rampage was too happy with the question, I think I would have been a little afraid to ask him something like that.......that reporter has some guts I'll give him that......
First Two Fighters Named for Never Submit
Imperia Entertainment President James Hergott announced today that the first two fighters to be featured in the feature film mixed martial arts movie "Never Submit" will be PRIDE Fighting champions Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and Wanderlei "The Axe Murderer" Silva.