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Fedor Emelianenko ready for next fight

June 18, 2010 |  3:10 pm
Fedor Emelianenko views his fights much in the same way that John Wooden prepared for games when he coached UCLA basketball.

It didn't matter as much to Wooden who the Bruins were playing as much as how well his team was prepared.

Emelianenko, the Russian mixed martial arts heavyweight who is considered the world’s best in his sport, has a June 26 fight in San Jose against heavyweight Fabricio Werdum, but he’s not that invested in the thoughts about what Werdum can do.

"I usually don’t think about my opposition as a person who can bring me concerns," Emelianenko told The Times on Friday as he relaxed in a Santa Monica hotel room. "I work hard in training. I work on my own things I do strong and weak.

"Fabricio Werdum is a great fighter with good technique and striking skill. I know that."

Showtime will televise the Strikeforce-promoted Emelianenko-Werdum card.

Emelianenko, 33, shrugged off questions about his Nov. 7 victory over Brett Rogers on CBS, in which he found himself on his back taking blows on the canvas in the first round. He still bears a scar over the bridge of his nose. Emelianenko rallied to win by technical knockout in the second round.

"There was no concern, because during my training, I try to work in all positions, to feel comfortable in all positions," Emelianenko said. "There was nothing scary about that night."

Even the moments that appeared to be troubling, that caused an official from his M-1 Global promotional company to admit that "we were chewing off our fingernails?"

"I don’t remember such moments," Emelianenko said, releasing a small smile.

-- Lance Pugmire