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Fedor Emelianenko Says His Training Doesn't Need to Change

Fedor EmelianenkoCHICAGO -- In the run up to his fight with Fedor Emelianenko on Saturday night, Dan Henderson has questioned whether Fedor's current two-fight losing streak is the result of a lack of motivation and hard work, going so far as to say that he hopes Fedor will change up his training before this fight so that he'll be able to provide Henderson with as tough a challenge as possible.

Emelianenko disagrees.

Meeting with the media two days out from their meeting in the cage, Emelianenko said Henderson is wrong and that his two losses have nothing to do with his training.

"No, I don't believe in any way that the last two losses were because of any problems in training," Emelianenko said. "There were no problems in training. The motivations were always there. We were always going hard."

That raises an awkward question: If it's true that Emelianenko's training was just fine prior to his losses to Fabricio Werdum and Antonio Silva, does that mean that the real problem is simply that Emelianenko isn't as good as he was during the glory years, when he reigned as the king of the heavyweights in mixed martial arts?

Emelianenko says that's not it, either.

"i just think if it was God's will that I go through some adversity with these losses, it's meant to be," Emelianenko said. "But in no way did it mean I wasn't pushing myself in training because I always have been."

For his part, Henderson, sitting just a few feet away from his upcoming opponent, stood by his previous claims that Emelianenko appeared to be in something less than top shape for his losses to Werdum and Silva. But Henderson also said that in seeing Emelianenko this week, he believes that Emelianenko looks more physically fit.

"As a spectator, and a fan of his it seems that motivation wasn't maybe there as well as it could have been," Henderson said. "It looks like he's in pretty good shape for this fight."

Some of Emelianenko's fans have suggested that they'd like to see him lose weight and perhaps find new and tougher sparring partners or even a completely different team of coaches and advisers. Those fans may be disappointed to learn that Emelianenko says there's no reason for him to radically change the way he goes about his business.

"I've always approached this as a sport, and I always knew any of my fights I could win or lose," Emelianenko said. "Luckily, with God's help, I was very successful. The last two fights it didn't work out the way I wanted it to work out, but that's OK, life goes on. I've been training with the same team, training hard, and look forward to being on the side of victory."

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