Andrei Arlovski and Josh Barnett. Photo courtesy of Affliction Entertainment.
On Tuesday, feared MMA heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko, along with Affliction Entertainment, M-1 Global, Golden Boy Promotions and The Trump Organization gathered at Trump Towers in New York to host a press conference in anticipation of this Saturday’s Affliction M-1 “Day of Reckoning” PPV event.
Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Tito Ortiz, Oscar De La Hoya and Affliction Entertainment President Tom Atencio were on hand to address the media and fans in attendance and take questions.
On Saturday, as the main event of a stacked pay-per-view MMA fight card at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., Fedor will meet world-ranked heavyweight Andre Arlovski in a five-round showdown.
FEDOR EMELIANENKO: Thank you for the warm welcome. I thank the press and the fans for supporting me and our sport. I promise to put on a great show and demonstrate the art of MMA.
Q: Will you stand and trade with Arlovski?
FEDOR: I have never claimed to be the best boxer, technically, in the world. I have never made any generalizations about my boxing skills. Mr. (Freddie) Roach is a great boxing trainer; trained some of the best. But we will see what happens in the ring this Saturday.
Q: Compare fighting for Affliction vs. fighting for Pride in Japan.
FEDOR: I don’t think there are any differences. They are both great organizations. But Pride is in my past and Affliction is the future. I have had great experiences with Affliction thus far and I am happy to continue fighting for M-1 Global and Affliction Entertainment. It is hard to compare the two organizations. It is two different cultures. The common thread, though, is that both are class organizations.
TITO ORTIZ: I am very excited for this Saturday night. I’ll be getting my feet wet in a new area of the sport. I’ll be commentating and watching ringside as two of the best MMA heavyweights come together. The whole card in general is great. From the initial fights on HDNet right through the PPV undercard, this is one of the best cards ever put together. History will be made on Saturday, Jan. 24.
I am very excited to possibly fight for Affliction one day. But for now, as a commentator on the show, I’ll call it the way I see it. And I am grateful for the opportunity. Day of Reckoning will be Afflictions’ mark on the sport of MMA for the world to see.
Q: Do you think Fedor is the best heavyweight of all time?
ORTIZ: Yeah! He’s shown that time and time again he can take a punch and come back and deliver devastating punches and choke people out. He’s shown heart and determination time and again. He’s unstoppable, amazing.
Against Tim Sylvia, Fedor stopped him in 36 seconds. That’s something no one has ever done before. But Arlovski is tough too. I think Fedor would have done his homework by now and he’ll be ready for a fight. We’ll just have to wait and see who gets their hand raised in the ring come Saturday.
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: This really is a historical event. You have two fighters that really are the best. If there is one fight you want to watch, it’s this one. Come Saturday night, people will witness the best fighters out there in their division. This is history.
Golden Boy got involved because who does not want to be involved in the greatest MMA event? I believe we can be one of the premiere promoters in the MMA world. A little competition never hurt anyone.
TOM ATENCIO: I believe, I know for a fact, that this will be one of the best events in history.