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Fedor's Striking Coach: Fedor Has Slowed, But Still Fastest Heavyweight

Fedor Emelianenko compensates for diminishing speed with his ever-increasing experience, says Alexander Michkov, the Strikeforce and M-1 Global heavyweight's striking coach of nearly 10 years.

In an interview published on the official Russian-language M-1 Global website, Michkov made some interesting remarks on how the aging process has played on Fedor.

"With regard to age, it certainly has an effect," he said, translated. "To some extent, a decrease in high speed performance, but this is offset by experience."

Michkov admitted he is less wary of Fedor's "lightning" fast hand speed when holding pads for him than he would have been several years back, but believes Fedor's movement is still better than anyone in the heavyweight division.

"Now the speed, of course, is a little slower, but -- knock on wood -- continues to be enough for Fedor to win," Michkov said. "There's a reduction in speed, but his combination of attacks have grown. And, in my opinion, to date, he remains the fastest heavyweight."

Michkov has been Fedor's striking coach ever since Fedor began competing MMA. When asked if Fedor would have been successful had he chosen to become a professional boxer, Michkov, who carries a Russian title of "Masters of Sports" in boxing, said Fedor could, but MMA was a better avenue considering that it would have been a sin to disregard Fedor's background in Sambo and Judo.