Mike Winkeljohn: Fedor is an easy fight for Jon Jones or Andrei Arlovski
Last week, UFC Hall of Famer Bas Rutten said that he believes returning former champion Fedor Emelianenko should fight in the UFC, and that if he does, he’d have good chance at doing well against the best of the modern age. This included, according to Rutten, stripped former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
"El Guapo" said that Fedor’s punching speed and power would be enough to give anyone trouble, including "Bones." Jones’ coach Mike Winkeljohn politely disagreed with the broadcaster and former UFC heavyweight champ, while speaking with Submission Radio.
"Oh you know, I have not even spoke to Jon about it, but looking at how, you know, Fedor’s fights towards the end of his career [went], I think unless he changed something I think it’s an easy fight for Jon," the striking coach said.
Fedor retired after three straight wins. Before those, however, he lost three straight to current UFC fighters Dan Henderson, Antonio Silva, and Fabricio Werdum.
It’s likely Winkeljohn was referring to those performances. The former kickboxer does believe that Fedor is capable of a good comeback, however.
"I think it’s a great idea, honestly, with the right training," he said.
"Look at Andrei Arlovski coming back. I mean, everybody thought he was shelved, and now he’s coming back and on a title run. There’s no doubt about it. I think we get the title shot, we’re winning the title. If [Fedor] does it right, if he’s thinking about doing it right, and how cool is that? That would be one of the really, really exciting stories. Fedor was the king for so long, and to take all of that time off and come back — that would be really exciting."
Arlovski, who trains with Winkeljohn in New Mexico, once went on a four fight losing skid, starting with his KO loss to Fedor in 2009. However, he’s now riding a five fight win streak and has lost only once in his past 11 bouts.
Arlovski is hopeful that he gets to fight Frank Mir Sep. 5. It is likely that he’s another win or two away from a title shot.
If "The Pitbull" does get another crack at the title he once held, Winkeljohn is confident that he’ll nab the championship once more. Additionally, "Wink" would pick his fighter against Fedor in a rematch, should it happen as Arlovski wants.
"Andrei is so strong. He’s so strong from his sambo days. He’s so tight, strong in his body locks," he began.
"Strength-wise Andrei would be so much stronger. As far as the boxing skills, with the range, Andrei’s got him, too. So I definitely would put my money on Andrei all night long, and would actually really enjoy seeing that fight."