Video via MMA Fanhouse. Not from Fight Camp 360°.
Brett Rogers doesn’t have a long established presence in this sport like his opponent, Fedor Emelianenko, does. He has risen from relative obscurity to the spotlight in a very short time large in part to his big knockout of Andrei Arlovski and subsequent opportunity to fight the king of the heavyweight division. All eyes are on him now as he prepares for the biggest fight of his career, and while he admits it’s taken time to get adjusted to all the attention, he feels like he’s living “the American success story.”
“The hardest part has been having someone (camera persons) on the mat during training that I CAN’T hit. Normally, the rule is, if you’re on the mat, you’re fair game to get some…It’s been fun to share my story. I feel that I am living the American success story. And I hope that others can take some level of inspiration from it…I am really looking forward to seeing the show, but to be honest, I won’t be in the right frame of mind next week to really enjoy it. I’ll have to go back and watch it in a couple of weeks to digest it all…The film crew has been here for more than five days. I tell you, it is a surreal experience to have the world watching you, watching me do what my fight team and I have been doing for five years in relative obscurity day in and day out. All of a sudden, to have my life become worthy of this attention is amazing, shocking almost. But we are having fun with it…We’ve had various training partners roll through the past few days and it’s been odd to explain what the cameras are doing here. They aren’t expecting it. The first few days the crew was here, it was a bit suffocating. To have them shadow me through my every move, not just in training, but at home with my family, during meals, everywhere. After a few days, though, I kind of got used to it.”
Rogers manager, Mike Reilly, says Brett has evolved and Fedor’s “in for a shock.”
“Brett has evolved as a fighter. He’s always been a tremendous athlete but now he’s a more well-rounded fighter. He’s developed so much over the past year and especially in this camp…He is working as hard as he ever has. He is in better shape than ever, so I can now push him harder and expand the training to be much more complex. All of this is possible because he’s evolving…We have new wrinkles in training, new sparing partners and sessions. With his striking in top form, I can have Brett focus on other facets of the game: grappling, submission defense, throws and kicks. We are coming in from new angles, we found a new range. We have taken conditioning to a new level. Fedor is in for a shock.”
Rogers striking coach, Sérgio Cunha, who helped train Shogun for the Liddell fight, commented on the game plan.
“It’s a gold chance. He’ll have the chance that a few had against the best pound for pound fighter and this chance is an amazing thing, and at the same time is a big pressure, the athlete can’t think too much about it. If the guy thinks and respects Fedor, he won’t fight… He has to have the control and execute inside the cage everything that he trained…I’m doing everything, since the strategy, the fight plan… We know his real chances, we know that it’s a hard fight, he’s a big guy, strong, and we’ve worked his hand, the boxing, the clinch, a lot of knees, and we’ll try to make the fight standing up, where he has chances to use his best weapons and win the fight…Fedor is aggressive and I think that he won’t try to take Rogers down. He’s brave, that’s why Fedor is Fedor. I think he’ll try to exchange and then, if the hand comes in or if he feels, he’ll try to work on the ground, unless Fedor comes more cautious and understands that Brett is very big and dangerous, that if a punch hits it may decide the fight.”
Meanwhile, M-1 Global held a press conference today for the Russian press before he departed Moscow for the United States. I don’t have any quotes for you, but TSGIGOR on the UG posted a ton of pictures, and check out what made a return appearance. The infamous sweater.
Affliction: Day of Reckoning press conference:
Today’s M-1 Global press conference: