Top world middleweight from Russia Storm Shlemenko in an exclusive interview to Sportbox.ru talks about signing with M-1, assesses his first opponent in the context of M-1 mw Grand Prix and criticizes Vladimir Mineev who keeps challenging him.
- Alexander, first of all congrats on signing with M-1!
- Thanks. I’m really excited to fight at an event with such a great line-up.
- Correct me if I’m wrong, but earlier you said you won’t fight until
this doping allegations gets solved Why did you change your stance?
- Yeah, I got tired of waiting. Moreover, I see and everyone can see
that they keep dragging out the situation. If it keeps evolving as it
goes now I’d probably not fight at all anymore.
- M-1′s matchmaker Alexander Shuldyakov mentioned your manager Alexei
Zhernakov who did everything possible for you to return to the US. Can
- Yeah, I remain on a contract with Bellator. We are allowed to fight
outside of the US during my disqualification. Also we put a lot of
effort to prove that I’m innocent. Actually I believe we didn’t need
to prove anything in the first place. OK, w got involved in the
process and ow we have to wait until the judge’s verdict. Of course
I’m not guilty so we believe we’ll win.
- What do your lawyers say?
- The chances are on our side.
- So they can’t guarantee. And since you said you feel the judges are biased…
- Ye, no one is insured against bias. Time will tell.
- Let’s talk about your next opponent, Vyacheslav Vasilevsky. Where do
you see his strength?
- He‘s good but he’s not better than me in any aspect (laughing). If
the fight was under combat sambo rules with sambo jackets on, I’d say
Vyacheslav is really good in wrestling. Hard to tell. I firmly believe
I’m not inferior in any aspect of the fight game. Of course we’ll know
for sure come February 19. I can say for certain I’m much better than
him in some aspects though.
- What aspects?
- Kicks. It’s not what he applies on a frequent basis. Knee strikes,
spinning leg kicks…
- I’d suppose Vyacheslav is better when it comes to hand striking? Agree?
- Of course not. He‘s got his on technique, I got mine. The fight will
judge who’s better in what. Vyacheslav strikes a lot whereas I don’t
rain punches but when I strike I make sure it counts. We’ll see whose
style is superior.
- What about Vladimir Mineev?
- I noticed his words about me. It’s kind of a self-marketing – to
challenge a fighter from a different promotion which implies the
chances of our fight are slim. Maybe he’s out of his mind or
something. He‘s quite contradicting. First he claimed I said smething
about him and then I disappeared. He that hath eyes to see, let him
see whether I have ever said anything about him in the first place.
All I did was to answer reporters’ questions about his challenge and
his words towards me. Let me repeat: I’m ready to face him. Any day,
any place. But at the moment I’ve got a much more significant stuff to
take care of, which is in M-1. If our potential fight is demanded by
audience, we’ll fight. My manager will take care of that.