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Thursday, November 08, 2012
Jeff has an incredibly busy schedule over the next few weeks. On November 15, at the M-1 15th anniversary show in St. Petersburg, Russia, he will fight Alexander Emelianenko. Two days later, on November 17, he is scheduled to represent the U.S. in the FILA no-gi grappling world championship in Skala, Poland, near Kraków. The following week, on November 24, it is back to MMA when he fights on ROAD FC 10 in Busan, Korea, against Kang Dong-Gook of Team MAX at a catch weight of 97.5 kg. And the week after, on December 1, it is another MMA fight, this time in Serbia against Golden Glory fighter Denis Stojnić at an event which is raising money for AIDS and disadvantaged youth organizations.
"I haven't fought since June, and now all of a sudden I've got four events in a short amount of time. I've got an itching to compete. It's been nice to take some time and just train, because I don't get that to see very often," he said in this interview, which was recorded by phone Thursday evening. "I'll be glad when it's over, trust me. I'm actually looking forward to getting back in the cage again."
We also discussed the FILA world championships in grappling, Pankration, and amateur MMA, and how FILA is developing these as legitimate sports.
After discussing this schedule, we then turned to the issue of how MMA fighters are treated by many organizations, and the need for a fighters' union. Jeff emphasized both the need for more education of fighters on these issues, and also the need for good organization to create such a union. "Education is key," he stressed, while also noting that it will take time, unity, and a proper strategy to accomplish these goals.
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