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Team Fedor Needs to Move on Instead of Making Excuses for Loss

<! mediaid=3890284 AP: img vspace="4" hspace="4" border="1" align="right" src="" alt="" />Fedor Emelianenko lost on Saturday night, and while a doctor's stoppage is not the most conclusive way to win or lose a bout, there's no denying that Emelianenko got decisively beaten up in the second and final round. Antonio Silva took him down and smashed him up for nearly the full five minutes. Even if Fedor himself says he could have continued, fighters agree to compete under the care of the referees and doctors in regards to their long-term health and protection, and the ringside physician feared for Emelianenko's vision after seeing his right eye completely closed.

It's only a few days later, but coaches on his team have been quoted many times in the Russian sports media talking about the loss. It's their right to explain what went wrong, but what about when they start floating conspiracy theories?

The most ridiculous one floated? One by his trainer Vladimir Voronov, who claimed in an interview with that illegal methods of psychological warfare were used. His claim? Hypnosis.

According to a translation of Voronov's interview, he believes certain "technologies" were used on both fighters from a distance that negatively affected Emelianenko's performance. His reasoning for the wild theory? Fedor did exactly the opposite of what they practiced beforehand. Also, before the fight, he thinks Fedor looked "a little depressed."

Of course, Voronov has no real evidence for the claim, and his only reason for it is the fact that Fedor lost. He also doesn't address how or why the hypnotists allowed Fedor to win the first round on two of the three judges' scorecards, risking their whole insane plot.

Hypnosis as an excuse? Now I've heard everything.

Also getting in a say was Emelianenko's striking coach Alexander Michkov, who spoke to another Russian site, Michkov was asked about the size differential between Emelianenko and Silva.

Guess what? He pretty much accused Silva of juicing.

"Think about it, how can the normal human being gain 10 kilograms in 24 hours?" he said. "There is something fishy here. The fact is, all our fighters, I am talking about Russian fighters, that are fighting under the banner of M-1, train on their natural abilities. Of course, they take vitamins, but that's it. Meanwhile, all the foreign fighters, I think about 99 percent of them are taking chemicals. Obviously it was not a problem for Silva to make weight without problems. He weighed 264 pounds on the day of weigh-ins, and the next day, he was already over 280. He gained 10 kilograms. It's very hard to fight with a fighter like this."

Michkov's statement isn't so factually true. First off, not all of his M-1 fighters train on their natural abilities. Kirill Sidelnikov was busted for steroids in 2009 and served a one-year suspension.

Of course, Silva infamously tested positive for the steroid boldenone after a fight in July 2008, so the accusation is an easy one to make against him, but the size thing, well that's just puzzling.

Silva has always cut weight to make the 265-pound limit, and fought well over that on fight night.

Here are his weigh-in results of his last five fights before he fought Fedor: 263, 265.5, 263, 267, 261. Silva has always flirted with the very top of the heavyweight scale, and he's put on more size in the last year or so. Silva said after the event that he weighed 285 on fight night.

That should have come as no surprise to Emelianenko's team. Even if he had only gained five pounds, to 270, he still would have had a 40-pound weight advantage. Would that have made a difference in either fighter's performance? If this was going to be an excuse after the fight, it should have been a complaint before it.

Re-hydrating 20 pounds is not uncommon in MMA, and Emelianenko has certainly faced others who've done the same thing in his recent past, including Brett Rogers and Tim Sylvia. Are they really that flummoxed by something as simple as weight-cutting?

Michkov went on to talk about steroids testing in the tournament, charging Alistair Overeem with using steroids and saying that Strikeforce declined Olympic style testing "because everyone will get busted but Fedor."

Emelianenko's team had a right to demand an even playing field, and given the lengthy period during his re-negotiations process, they certainly had every chance to get it. Now, with Emelianenko essentially eliminated from the field -- barring an advancing fighter's injury withdrawal and reconsideration from the tournament committee -- all of this sounds like a lot of bluster and misdirection.

Emelianenko himself handled the loss with dignity. He congratulated Silva and walked out of the arena shaking the hands of fans on his way to the locker room. His camp hasn't handled it quite as well. Losing is never easy, and it's probably even more difficult when you're so used to winning, but accusing everyone else of cheating is hardly behavior worthy of the team of one of the greatest champions this sport has ever known. It would be more helpful if they took a page from their fighter and simply moved on.

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