Bellator MMA middleweight champion Alexander Shlemenko has his sights set high when it comes to what he wants to accomplish in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts.
Shlemenko, who is from Omsk Russia, wants to follow in the footsteps of one of the greatest fighters ever, who just happens to be Russian as well, Fedor Emelianenko.
Shlemenko spoke to MMAJunkie about the comparison.
“The difference is huge, because I am a role model for young Russian kids and also many people are watching me fight from all over the world. It’s a huge pressure, and I just cannot let them down. I cannot lose.”
“Fedor is a great example for me; he’s like a great role model. For me, as well, it’s important that I get the chance to represent my country at such a high level, and the most important and difficult thing is to deal with this huge pressure that I feel. And no matter what I do, to win the fight.”
“I think it’s really difficult to compare myself or others to Fedor, because he was the first one who made himself famous as a Russian fighter. His achievements are so big that I think it would be almost impossible to follow in his footsteps and make accomplish something bigger than he did.
“For me, I’m just trying to follow in his footsteps, and other Russian fighters are trying to do their best to try to do what Fedor did once.”