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Fedor Emelianenko on Kimbo Slice: 'He's Got a Lot More Work to Do ... He's Got Great PR'

You have to go more than a minute and a half into this interview before you actually hear Fedor Emelianenko say anything, but once he does answer a question about Kimbo Slice, he actually has some interesting things to say:

Emelianenko, widely regarded as the best mixed martial arts heavyweight in the world, obviously knows that Kimbo is not a great fighter. But Emelianenko also had some perceptive parts about the way Kimbo has been marketed.

"As an athlete, I think he's got a lot more work to do," Emelianenko said through his translator. "I think he's got to have a lot more fights and really boost his competition and the quality of the opponents he fights."

But he said more than that.

"As a person and a personality for the sport, he's got a great PR company," Emelianenko said. "He's done something that many fighters have taken many years to achieve and haven't been able to achieve, and he's done it in a very short period of time. So if he's able to combine that with his physical strength and learn some more technique and maybe getting some more experience, then maybe he would get to a level of popularity that could transcend the sport."

Fedor is smart about the way MMA fighters can market themselves to maximize their earning potential, and he recognizes that Kimbo has made himself into a star.

Note: Although his translator didn't repeat it, Fedor clearly mentioned Bas Rutten, the MMA legend who is currently training Kimbo. One of the reasons that many of the top fighters have respect for Kimbo is that they respect Rutten and know that Kimbo is learning the sport from one of the best.