Most fans and media believe that Fabio Maldonado is a sacrificial lamb of sorts when he fights Fedor Emelianenko at Eurasian Fight Nights on June 17th in St. Petersburg, Russia. The event will broadcast exclusively on UFC Fight Pass.
Maldonado recently spoke to MMA Junkie at the press conference for the event and he detailed his thoughts on the fight, why he thinks it’ll be close, and what advantages he has over the legendary fighter:
How do you think the fight is going to go?
I expect a close fight. And my concern is on the feet, not on the ground. With (Stipe) Miocic, they were like, “Watch out, he’s going to take you down.” If he takes me down, the fight goes on. I’ve been doing jiu-jitsu my entire life. I think Fedor is stronger and faster than I am. But the fight goes on if I’m taken down.
If he’s faster and stronger, what are your advantages over him?
I have better boxing. I’m not going to fake humility here and say his boxing is better. Even when I got caught in the past, it was due to my own mistakes, because I knew I had better boxing. So I just can’t make a mistake early in the fight. And by mistake I mean being hit hard, not being taken down – which would also be a mistake but a smaller one. I’m aware of his ground and pound, but being knocked down is way worse than being taken down. So I have to start off well. He has one-punch knockout power, so I need to be careful on my feet.