It appears "The Last Emperor" Fedor Emelianenko isn't the self-centered, bus-hoarding "diva" he was made out to be after all.
Last week, renowned MMA commentator, Michael Schiavello, indicated that Emelianenko had demanded his own 70-seat tour bus after competing at the DREAM: New Year! 2011 event, forcing fellow competitors, such as Bibiano Fernandes and team, to relocate to a different, "more crowded" one.
"Fedor is SUCH a DIVA!," Schiavello tweeted. "Other fighters & us sat on bus for about 90 min after show because Fedor apparently needs a bus all to himself! Even Bibi Fernandes and his team were booted off the second bus because 'that is Fedor's bus,' mind you these are like 70 seat tour buses! Seriously, it was just plain RUDE. ... No hate, I love Fedor's style of fighting, huge fan, just saying the diva bus demand was harsh on other fighters waiting to go. Trouble is that management reflects on their clients, hence this reflects on Fedor."
Following the reports, however, Fernandes himself, alongside American Martial Arts trainer, Matt Hume, have come forward with a different side of the story, insisting that the reality of the situation was "lost in translation."
"There were a lot of languages going on that night: Russian to Japanese, Portuguese, English. So, I think something got lost in translation there," explains Hume in the video below. "But, what really happened was that Fedor was in doing interviews, and everyone was waiting on the two buses, and Fedor was to get on one of those buses and go back. So, both buses were waiting for him. Everybody else had finished their press, but, of course, Fedor is very popular in Japan, he had not finished his press yet, and they were still keeping him there. So, everybody was staying there waiting. So, Fedor asked if they could let the people go who wanted to get back to their hotel. Very graciously, Fedor said, 'Hey, why don't you let those guys go home.' So, they did ask us to move onto one bus, which there was plenty of room on the one bus for everybody, and then one bus would stay and take Fedor back later. I've known Fedor for years and years, and he probably would have drove the bus back for us, he's such a good, nice guy."
Further Reading: Fedor Emelianenko KO's Satoshi Ishii in Round 1
Photo: Francis Specker