Jon Olav Einemo Interview

Jon Olav Einemo is a giant: both in physical size and in his status as a grappler; hailing from Norway, Einemo blazed a trail at the 2002 Mundials in the blue belt Absolute division winning five fights out of six via submission. Jon Olav Einemo is a giant : both in physical size and in his status as a grappler; hailing from Norway, Einemo blazed a trail at the 2002 Mundials in the blue belt Absolute division winning five fights out of six via submission. Such is his fearsome reputation in the NHB scene, no opponent was willing to step into the ring at Finnfight 5 in 2001 – wise men indeed, as when one actually meets Einemo face to face ringside, he clearly casts a menacing figure. Einemo has been dogged by niggling injuries since his appearance at ADCC 2001, yet this did not stop him travelling to Brazil this year to enter and win the 99k division, taking out black belts Roger Gracie and Cacareco along the way, a feat that even Einemo finds incredible and it is this humbleness and lack of ego that separates him from the pack – meet Jon Olav outside of the ring and you will meet a quiet and polite young man, but step into the cage with him and it’s a different story, as Evert Fyeet found out to his cost in the recent Shooto Cold War event in Finland, earlier this year – read on and enjoy.

Carl Fisher- Jon, congratulations for your victory in Brazil this year from myself and many of the fans in Europe and Japan : please tell all!

Jon Olav Einemo First of all thank you, it’s nice to know I have fans out there; I had four fights, the first guy was Brandon Welsh from the US, a wrestler. We started standing for a few minutes and I pulled guard and he tried to stand up in the guard and I caught him with a straight arm bar from the guard; the second fight was with the Australian, Popadopolous and that lasted three minutes I think. I took him down quite early but we went off the mats and we went back to the middle, standing; he tried to take me down and I sprawled and I went to the side to take his back and choked him out. The next fight was my hardest and that was with Roger Gracie and it went to OT onto points, it started I think that I took him down and passed the guard and I was in side mount a while and he tried to escape, but as he turned I took his back and I had a standing back mount for maybe a few minutes and he turned me and I went under his guard and I flipped him again and I go over him and went for his back again and I really don’t recall everything but I think I got turned again and at the last minute I was working my guard and he was trying to pass and at the end I won with two points.

CF- How did you react, knowing you were in the finals?

JOE- It was great you know as it was a very hard day, the first two fights were OK as they did not last long, but after the third fight with Roger I was very tired, but it was a good feeling to know you were in the finals and I would be facing Cacareco again, the guy I lost against in 2001.

CF- So you were looking for revenge?

JOE- Oh yeah (laughs) well I had my chance at least you know, so we went home and relaxed and came back the next day and tried to chill out and when I went on the mats I wanted to be more tactical than the last time; we almost went the distance nineteen minutes and forty seconds, but there wasn’t a lot to look at in the fight as he didn’t really want to fight, he was stalling a lot you know and we did about seven or eight minutes standing and then I went for the takedown and then I was in the open guard for most of the match so we both got minus points, him for passivity and me for going to the guard, which I found a little confusing, as I really made the takedown but when he defended I had to go back. In the early stages of the fight he tried to pass my guard and I almost took his back and right at the end he tried again and this time I got his back and choked him out and he tapped, a major feeling, like a dream.

CF- Did you party afterwards?

JOE- A little bit, not too much

CF- Did you meet the Sheik?

JOE- No, I don’t think he was there to be honest, as I didn’t see him, just all the fighters.

CF- How long did you stay in Brazil?

JOE- We came out a few days before the event and after that we went to Rio and had nine days there and I trained a few times at Marcelo’s place, just easy.

CF- How did this year compare to the 2001 event?

JOE- It was good but of course but it was more luxurious in Abu Dhabi; there was a lot of stress in the Brazilian organisation as there were many Brazilian guys running around screaming you know; they’d say you would be fighting in ten minutes and you would be hanging around for fifty minutes and nothing happened, but it was a big event and you had to expect some complications.

CF- Where did you prepare for the event?

JOE- Here at the Finnfighters Gym, training with the big guys who got me into shape.

CF- How have you improved so much since 2001? You beat some top names in 2003 out there – what’s the secret?

JOE- (Laughs) I have no idea, prior to this I wanted to go and wanted to fight and I really did not think this was the year I would win, as I have had many injuries and have been back and forth from training and I felt my stamina wasn’t the best, so I was amazed myself you know.

CF- How did you manage with the heat out there?

JOE- It was OK but my problems were that I had to lose weight for the event and in the last week I had to lose six kilos and lose a lot of water, so when I got there and it was hot I was already dehydrated and I suffered a lot from cramps in my legs and I had an infection in my foot that bothered me a lot as well.

CF- Was Marcelo there?

JOE- Yes. He was there cornering for me and I was in the corner for Joachim, who was very unlucky this year; as soon as we landed he started being sick all the time, he was not feeling well and lost all his energy.

CF- Have you managed to overcome your niggling injuries?

JOE- More or less I can say, but I have still have some problems that keep me away from training as hard as I would like; I think it’s under control and listen to my body, as when you go these events you put your body through a lot of damage just to get there, so it’s good to rest.

CF- Let’s talk about your Shooto fight?

JOE- Yes, again I felt I wasn’t in the best shape you know, but it went well; I got the flu a week before the fight but I didn’t want to back out, but in the end the fight went well for me, a little over two minutes. The guy didn’t know that much on the ground and he didn’t know many good escapes from the positions so I was able to take him out from the mount.

CF- With Joachim doing so well in Japan, are the guys interested in you?

JOE- I think so you know, but it’s hard for them to find me opponent’s as they don’t have any real heavyweights; I think it’s a great organisation for someone like Joachim with many good fighters but not so much for me, I think the only place would be Pride?

CF- Are the rumors true then about you fighting in Pride?

JOE- Yes a little, I did have a couple of offers but that was in my injury period.

CF- Who did they offer?

JOE- First time it was Tom Erickson and then the second it was a Japanese Pro Wrestler.

CF-Would you still be interested?

JOE- Oh yes

CF- What about the UFC, have they shown any interest?

JOE- Not directly, but I had an offer through some other guys not directly the UFC, they wanted me to fight Pedro Rizzo a year ago, but I was injured again – I have had a number of chances to fight in 2H2H and have had to cancel through injuries. I need to feel my body feels good and in 100 per cent shape before I take these big fights.

CF- How long have you been in Finland and why did you come here?

JOE- I have been here since February and I wanted a change in the environment, plus there are a lot of big guys here I can train with, there are not so many in Oslo you know.

CF- They’re certainly strong out here aren’t they?

JOE- Oh yes they are without a doubt (laughs)

CF- How does a giant like yourself cope with these Vikings?

JOE- If you compare the guys who go to the gym and lift weights there’s no competition, but luckily for me in this game, it does not count for everything and I have different power, not gym power; I have never felt pure power has been a problem for me, as you have your techniques to deal with the power.

CF- When are you going back to Oslo?

JOE- I am not sure; I have son back there and I have not seen him for two years and I really want to be part of his life.

CF- What would happen to your training?

JOE- I’d train in Oslo I guess

CF- Would you split your time up between Norway and Finland?

JOE- To be honest I have no idea, my life is a mess (laughs), I have no plans and organisation in my life.

CF- How do you think Joachim will do against Gomi?

JOE- I think he will go all the way in Shooto, I have 100 per cent confidence in him; he has many qualities and is young and hungry and he likes to fight.

CF- It’s time for the Vikings then?

JOE- I think so, of course Gomi could win, anything can happen, if he does win he’ll have a hard time doing it you know.

CF- Last word to the Asgard fans?

JOE- Are there any? (Laughs) that’s really nice to hear you know; I would like to thank Asgard and all the others out there who have been supporting the Scandinavian fighters and bringing the info to the outside world, thank you to everyone and we are going to try to keep on working hard.

CF- Jon thanks for the time, nice to see you again

JOE- Thank you Carl

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Carl Fisher