Fedor Emelianenko and Vladimir Voronov. Photo via Lowkick.com
Last week we all had a good chuckle at reports that Fedor Emelianenko's Sambo coach Vladimir Voronov claimed that "forbidden psychological technology" had been employed against Fedor in his loss to Antonio Silva at Strikeforce: Fedor vs Silva. Some were skeptical about the interview, including M-1 Global executive Evgeni Kogan. Others had so little regard for Kogan's credibility that they dismissed his denials out of hand.
"I was really surprised by these reports. First of all, I never gave any interviews after the fight. We were on our way out of the airport, when a boy approached me asking about Fedor's health. I answered that Fedor feels alright, and will continue to compete in MMA. So he said that it seemed like Fedor didn't feel so good. I answered that maybe it only seems so, and maybe Fedor doesn't feel so well (laughing). Then, by these two phrases this lad, who even didn't say who he was, came to a conclusion that I was talking about some sort of hypnosis. It's a total bulls**t."
Admittedly the language barrier makes it somewhat more difficult for English-language writers to gauge the credibility of reports coming from the Russian-language media, but this is one where we should have been more skeptical. I think hostility towards M-1 Global and schadenfreude at Fedor's loss played a role in the MMA media jumping all over this story.