http://www.themmanews.com/?p=2329 Here’s a lengthy interview(translated from here) with Aleksander Emelianenko, top 15 world heavyweight and the brother of Fedor Emelianenko. Aleksander Emelianenko. Nicknamed Death. Three time combat sambo champion and one of the most extravagant masters in MMA jumped into a conversation with the journalists of SE. We met Emelianenko junior on the Krasin Street, near the corporate HQ. We’ve reminisced how Nikolai Valuev has stumbled into SE the same way. We talked for an hour, and after that the giant Nikolai went to catch a cab. At that time barely anyone knew his face - the cars were afraid to stop for Valuev. Many would cross the lane into oncoming traffic. The 27-year-old Aleksander Emelianenko, who’s acknowledged by the whole world as one of the best MMA fighters, is rarely recognized on the streets of Moscow. Although in New York and Tokyo he can barely walk around. Even, when we met with his brother, famous Fedor Emelianenko, not too long ago in the crowd of the Kursk train station. We found a quiet corner and sat down, without anyone recognizing him. And just to the side of us, the kiosks of pirated discs were flooded with the fight bootlegs of the Emelianenko brothers. It was a fantastic feeling. Aleksander has knocked out giants in such a way, that at times it seemed as if the floor was giving way. The worried doctors often times had to get the mouthpiece with their hands off of his opponents, and not everyone was able to raise their hands after a meeting with Emelianenko. No wonder the Americans gave him the nickname The Grim Reaper. He came in wearing tall army boots. Sideways, bent his head to squeeze into the door. We remembered the site mesilovo.ru, which specified Sasha’s height at 198 centimeters… Your brother, the legendary Fedor, mentioned that, as a fighter, you are more talented than him. Do you feel like that? - Of course I feel like that. I don’t know what I don’t have that Fedor does. I am the strongest. Better than anyone. I’m ready to fight with any fighter in the world - whoever is number one, whether in ratings, or by recognition. I will mess anybody up. It’s sad, that we can’t even train with my brother. He lives in Stary Oskol, I live in Petersburg. We’re both travel year-round. You used to practice together before? Yes. And we went at it at full strength. I boxed better. I was beating Fedor with my hands. And I was practicing without a coach, - I was training my hands by myself; whatever I felt was right. I just got a boxing coach not too long ago, Yuri Razumov. I realized that my understanding of boxing that I had at the time was… Not even boxing, something else? I didn’t know crap! Just now, I finally saw what boxing was. Now, I trained my hands to be good. I’m boxing at a level higher. Did you hear about a young fighter - Kirill Sidelnikov? No Not a bad kid. Earlier he could somewhat hang with me in the ring, and now his coach is almost in tears; screaming “Don’t hit him. Kirill is not ready yet. He’s not gonna box with you again like that…” Then turns around to him and says “Aleksander has progressed, and you’re just standing still!” If you’re more talented than Fedor, why is he number one and undefeated, and you’re just barely making the top 10? Fedor, in his time took the belt and held on to it. At that time I was the youngest fighter in Pride. Started fighting at 23, I just lacked basic experience. And I had to fight without any coaching. What I could - I learned from Fedor. I lost to the famous Croatian - Crocop just because it was only my fourth fight. I was just a kid. And your brother just not too long before the fight with Crocop, went to Thailand to study special styles of boxing Yeah. I was not prepared. Didn’t have the means. What did he catch you with? A kick to th head. With Josh Barnett it went a little different. I was beating the guy up for 10 minutes straight; broke his nose.. This Barnett is now doing everything to avoid a new fight. He knows what will happen to him. But in that fight, broken nose and all, Barnett was able to beat you I came to fight with a 37.4 temperature. Before each fight we go through the medical exams, and the doctors didn’t want to let me fight. But the fight was part of the Grand Prix - you fight for your honor in those competitions. Eventually, I couldn’t finish him, ran out of steam. So how could a man with a broken nose take the win from you? I messed up his nose before the break. Then they brought him back, stopped the bleeding. Barnett had one chance - to go in for the shoot. He gathered for this shoot; ran at me, hit me with a body shot and got me to the ground, where he ended up on top. Is it a heroic to win with such an injury? Nothing heroic. Just heart. Did you have instances where you had to use your “heart”? In my fight with Ricardo Morais I broke by hand in two places. Look - I still have a growth on my wrist. I threw a combination of punches - on about third or fourth punch I broke my hand. And after that I threw about five more punches. You didn’t feel the pain? I felt it when Morais fell down. I started thinking ‘if he gets up and continues the fight, I can’t hit with this hand, will need to change my stance’ But the guy, whose head you used to break the hand, he didn’t get up? No he didn’t You think someone would get up after that? Doubt it. Although Morais throughout his whole career was never even in a knockdown. And I knocked him out. He fell standing forward. With all his height of 205. What place are you in the world rating? I have no idea. My rating is also not as high, because americans have bought out Pride. The fighters they needed they took with their contracts. And for the rest, they told them “You want to fight with us? We’ll be paying 500 dollars a fight. If you don’t want that - get the hell out…” So you have nowhere to fight? Exactly. I spent a long time without any fights, until I signed a contract with Affliction for 3 fights. Japanese also opened a new organization - “Dream”, want me to fight there. If you would end up in American league today - you would start beating their local heroes? I don’t see any heroes there. Noguiera is their champion, whom Fedor destroyed three times. He’s an experienced fighter, but it seems he got old because of all the fights. It’s time for him to rest. I’m, on the other hand just getting started. My last loss was a long time ago. Who’s the strongest fighter you ever faced? Nobody gave me any serious problems. Although in Pride, where I used to compete, there were no people just of the street. Same with Affliction. All the fighters have felt success in other sports. Polak Pavel Nastula, whom I almost choked out, was an olympic champion in Judo. The guy has three hundred medals, didn’t lose one fight. And Sergei Kharitonov was second in Russia’s championship in boxing, great master. How did you deal with him? Knocked him out with punches. We watched a recording of a fight, when a guy jumped at you from the starting bell. Didn’t he surprise you? That was James Thompson. Nothing unusual in that approach. Often times fighters come out with one goal: to be remembered by the audience. Be exciting. Each fight needs to be turned into a show, so that people don’t fall asleep. That Thompson didn’t look like a serious fighter. Somewhat of a clown. On the contrary, he is considered one of the best in England. I dealt with him quickly. Many of my fights are from 10 to 30 seconds. One time I fought with Rene Rooze - knocked him out immediately, even though he’s a thai fighter, solid striker. The mighty Morais also didn’t last too long. What was the longest fight? 15 minutes. My first fight. what do you think about when you watch your early fights? I understand now, that I would have no problems with that Sasha Emelianenko. I work completely different in the ring. Is it true that from a certain point you don’t feel any pain in mixed martial arts? One of the boxers said: “We’re like pitbulls, our pain threshold is somewhere far below…” Everything has its limits. If I get caught with an armbar, nobody can handle that pain. Or if you miss a pinpoint strike to the head - that’s not a present either. Although, as years go by, pain does get more dull. One time you visited one Petersburg newspaper and were giving out tons of useful advices to women. I remember them well. If someone attacks you, kick him in the shin. If a woman is in high heels, you can count that as a weapon. Most important don’t try to hit the robber while he’s down, just run away. Although there are interesting places on a human body. Each strike to such a place can be fatal. For example? You can kill someone with a strike to the nose. When you hit someone from the bottom, the nose bridge goes into the brain. Another dangerous one is in the temple. A strike to the chin is not fatal, but very painful. My coach in Oskol was holding his two-year-old son in his lap. They were sitting in front of the TV. The child threw himself back and hit the back of the head off his father’s chin. And that guy, a boxer, was saying “My lights just went off! I was out!” When he came back, couldn’t understand what just happened. How many fatal hits did you survive? I never lost consciousness. Never was out completely. But knockdowns hapenned, especially during sparring. You were probably offered big money to fight against Fedor? There are plenty of offers. Japanese looked into various possibilities, to pin us against each other. But it never gets to a sum. We just close the conversation. The Klitchko brothers also never fight between each other. They promised their mother. We didn’t promis our mother anything; but our upbringing is such that a fight between Emelianenko brothers is out of the question. There are tons of other fighters - why fight against a brother whom you grew up with. That’s not right! You’re saying that about mixed martial arts. But when you happened to be in the finals of the sambo tournament, you said “Let Fedor have the win”. Why not you? I’m younger. Fedor is extremely respected in this sport. We made it to the finals three times. Each time I gave him the win. The first time we met in the moscow sambo tournament. I was going to refuse to come out to fight. But our fight was the last main event as the heavyweights. Many people just came for this fight. The organizers came up to us and asked us to show some respect to the audience. Then we decided: we will show the mastership, but will not strike one another. Just an art in the pure form. How did it end? I try to fool him a bit. We come out and the ref tells us to start. I bowed and extended my hand. And when the brother extended his arm for the shake, I clinched with him. Then I caught Fedya, threw him, but somehow he ended up right under my legs. So he made a nice move and put me in an armbar. The fight was almost for real? We didn’t have a ****** or any deals. To this day people don’t know if we fought for real or put on a show. Do they usually offer you to put on a play instead of a fight? There is no such thing in MMA. I stopped competing in combat sambo. I just didn’t see any competition in Russian championships. The winner goes on to world championship, the runner up goes to the European championship. If a fighter refuses to come out, he is disqualified. There are many young guys who are just starting out. Why do I need to blemish their career? At the same time, I can really injure them during the fight. Their coaches come up to you and ask you to show some compassion. Hit a little lighter, so that you don’t break the person. “Just throw him and do the submission, and that’s it…” Fedor had a similar incident. After which he says he doesn’t listen to the coaches crys to spare their fighters. Yes. A Korean fighter asked him not to hit very hard. But he himself was working with his fists in full might. Thank God Fedya was ready for this turnaround. But that’s how I’m built: even if they ask - I don’t lose the focus. I know that anything can happen. I always make my opponent feel that he’s in danger. So that he doesn’t forget. In heavyweight class any strike can be the last. Your brother in his youth used to sleep in the gym of Stary Oskol It happened. That’s how much he worked? He didn’t have enough time during the day? He stayed there not from a good life. The gym was right under the windows of our apartment, but you just don’t want to go home. You lay down on one mat, cover yourself with another and go to sleep. Someone was telling us that the Emelianenko brothers used to feed just on potatoes when you were kids. Was there a time of hunger? You have no idea! Our family had four kids; our father left us and didn’t help at all. He said “I have my own destiny, and you live however you want”. He only remembered something about his children after me and Fedor reached something in sports. It was probably nice to him that in his factory people are talking about his sons. He started to call our young brother, Ivan. Tried to teach him life lessons. One time I couldn’t take it, I grabbed the phone “The lad is twenty years old, why are you teaching him like some school kid? You should’ve thought about it earlier.” I don’t have any wish to talk to my father. What about Fedor? My brother does have some relationship with him. But it’s easier for him. During the divorce Fedor was in the army. That nightmare didn’t affect him. Me, on the other hand, I saw everything with my own eyes, how my father would fight with my mom, how he tried to divide up the apartment. And after that I should talk to him as if everything is normal? You were studying to be an electrician, plumber, cook… But I finished the college to be a welder So did anything prove useful in real life? I cook pretty good. My wife likes it. Nobody probably tries to start a fight with you on the street? Often people do, try to provoke me. I just stand there, listen to these dudes and walk away. I know that if I hit him one time, I will always be guilty. Even if he hits first. He’ll just write a complaint to the police. They won’t even sort out what happened. Natlia Rogozina - women’s world boxing champion, told us that she constantly gets harassed by these drunk guys. They ask her to hit them “We want to see what kind of hands a world champion lady has”. Does something like that happen to you? Something else happens to me. I have many friends in Moscow, who ask me to go out with them. We all sitting down, seems like very respectful group of people. But from time to time everything ends with some guy coming up to me and starting to be obnoxious. “You’re so and so, and I’m so and so, let’s go, we’ll start swinging” I look at him, he didn’t even develop the right way; his rear end is wider than his shoulders. It’s a mystery what drives these people. The amount of alcohol? You think so? Maybe you’re right. I try not to get started. Does it work? With some difficulty. How can you not get mad, when someone is grabbing you by the shirt? It’s not hard for me to hit him quietly on the chin, so that he can fall asleep for about forty minutes; lay him down on the chairs and keep on having a good time. Did that happen? So far - no. I just call somebody so that someone can calm him down. What about in Stary Oskol when you were more passionate? Were there neighborhood vs neighborhood fights? It happened long time ago. Started with something small. Some kid got robbed; his friends went back to see what happened - and it snowballed. Zhukov neighborhood went to war with Olimpiyskiy. How many people is that? Thousand against a thousand. It went as far as people turning over police cars. The whole city was standing on its ears. The crowd would come out with chains, rocks, iron pipes. How did you live after this? Nobody really hit me. Although anything can happen, when one crowd runs into another crowd. There was no fear? Fear was one thing that wasn’t there. It was the other way around, you were filled with excitement. Fedor was also in this? No. Mom didn’t know that I’m fighting in the streets, which the whole Oskol was afraid of. The street papers were in horror, and I would come home and would also be outraged “Did you see what they’re doing? Can’t even walk out on the street…” That’s what Fedor probably was telling us about in his interview “While Aleksander looked for adventures on his rear end, I wouldn’t come out of the gym” He is definitely not correct on that. I don’t know why Fedya said that. Probably was overcome by some ambitions. My brother sometimes gets overwhelmed: says something stupid, and then he’s sorry about it afterwards. You’re upset? I’m already used to the nonsense that he spews. I was in the gym from my early childhood. My mom was a teacher, worked days and took the night shift. She came home no later than nine. Father worked in a factory, his shift was from early morning till late at night. Sister in school. Fedor would pick me up from kindergarten. He just started to take judo. He pulled me with him to the gym, and I was learning how to flip around, tried to wrestle with the kids. When I joined the group of my age, I was already prepared. I knew right then that my life would be connected with the sport. Although I would always fight in the street. One time we relaxed in a bar, and not too far away there was a group of about twenty bodybuilders. Sounds funny already The smallest of those bodybuilders was my height. One of ours accidentally bumped into one of the bodybuilders on the dance floor. So the guy took him by his shirt and lifted him up off the floor “You don’t see that I’m dancing here?” The kid comes running to our table, all white and can’t say a word. I’m asking “What happened?” - “Over there… Over there… It’s..” OK, fine, I’m going to talk to them. I look, and they’re not people, they’re mountains. One bigger than the next. I called the bodybuilders outside; to talk. So you talked? Yeah, we went outside and talked. Nine bodybuilders were sent to the hospital. They’re absolutely nothing in a fight. So in your group you also had some solid guys? All were athletes. But they were small in height. Bodybuilders got scared. Started screaming “I’m from here, I’m from there, don’t hit me…” They were running in different directions, we barely tried to catch them. Afterwards they called our coaches to complain. The funniest fight in my life. What’s the scar on your temple? I didn’t get it in a ring. In another place. Got it from the butt of an assault riffle. And a scar just below it - someone hit me with a champagne bottle. I remember that time, I didn’t even lose consciousness. The guy who hit you then lost consciousness afterwards? Yeah, he got me pretty mad. But don’t wait for details. It’s a sad story. It seems that you had plenty of dangerous situations in your life. Definitely. I can’t even tell you half the stuff. But I’ll recall one incident. Fedya just came back from the army. We started drinking, and even took some wine with us and went to the forrest to relax. I was just a boy, got drunk right away. Everyone is in a good mood. We’re just standing in a field - me, Fedya, some girls. We’re just talking, don’t bother anybody. All of a sudden here comes some strange man, pushes everyone out of the way. Gets in the center, starts looking everyone in the eye. He doesn’t say a word and then just starts to walk away. I’m asking Fedor: ‘Who’s that?’ - ‘I have no idea’. You got upset? I’m screaming at him “Hey, wait up! Don’t you know how to behave?” I didn’t want to beat him up, just wanted to understand, what’s up with this dude. I’m walking towards him, he’s walking backwards away from me. Then he takes out a gun. The barrel didn’t stop you? I’m telling him “You bastard”. And then Fedor comes out, when he noticed the gun. He tells his friend, hold Aleks back, I will sort this out. He calmly starts talking to this guy, while moving towards him. The guys nerves didn’t hold up - he put the gun in his belt and started running out of there… I never mentally said goodbye to my life, but afterwards I would often think: Yeah that was kind of close. Do you meet with your childhood friends now? Not often. While I was gaining ground, they lived in their world. Someone started to sit on a needle, someone became a criminal. Some are jealous of me. I feel how they look at me when we’re together. What can you talk about with them? Why do you need so many tattoos? I just like it, and that’s it. My hobby. Some people like to collect pins, some collect match boxes. I like to get tattoos. I already lost count, how many I have. You didn’t want to get rid of one? They don’t bother me. Someone said this right: once you start to draw on yourself, it’s hard to stop. But I don’t associate the tattoos with anything. If I like the drawing I get it. What’s the meaning of the saying on your shoulder “Give me the return ticket to my youth, I already paid for the road in full”? They say, that it’s a popular saying for juvenile prisons. I was never in a juvenile prison. I just liked this phrase. I didn’t want to tattoo my chest, but the shoulder was empty, so I made this tattoo. Your buddy from Zenit - Fernando Ricksen, also got plenty of tattoos. Is that why you became close? No. Ricksen is very interested in mixed martial arts, which are extremely popular in his homeland. They argue like crazy, whose fighters are better - Croatian or Dutch. There are plenty of K-1 Champions from Holland, and Crocop is the most famous Croatian fighter. He asked me for a T-shirt with my initials AE not too long ago - will take it to Zagreb to give to some fan. How did you meet? I met him through the Zenit doctor - Misha Grishin. He used to work for a basketball team, where my wife played. Olya told me to see him, when I had problems with my elbows. From that time, I’m on good terms with the Zenit medical staff. They give me massages and heal me from injuries. Out of all the Zenit players you’re only friendly with the legionnaires? They’re more open. It’s tough to find a common language with our players. Many of them are flying in high clouds, that it’s hard to come up to them. You like DDT. You live with Shevchuk in the same city. You know him? Unfortunately no. One time I flew with Boyarski on a plane from Kislovodsk. I could’ve come up to him, but I got shy. The guy is resting - and I don’t want to bother him with my questions. Although I once saw Boyarski during my fight. From the actors, I’m friends with Zhenya Dyatlov and Gosha Kutsenko. They also respect MMA. Gosha invited me to a play “Truth game”. And we came to Moscow on the same train. What’s so special about Kutsenko? He amazed me from our first meeting. It was in Petersburg. When I was leaving, some man runs up to me “Hi Aleksander. I’m the director of Gosha Kutsenko. He would like to meet you.” I look - and there is Gosha sitting behind the table. I came up and said hi. Gosha invited me to his concert. I didn’t even know that he also sings. I like his songs alot. I listened to his disc in my car so much, that it’s barely working now. Gosha is recording a new album now - will probably give it to me as a gift. Kutsenko is a very kind guy. He is building a clinic in Moscow for his own money, for kids with limited possibilities. He was in Tskhinvali not too long ago. Actually we were all supposed to fly there together, but I had to change my plans last minute. Kutsenko later said “Sanya, it seems they know you even there. Can you imagine, I walk around the city in your T-shirt with the AE initials. The locals tell me ‘You know AE - is the first letter in Osetin alphabet”. Well those are initials of Aleskander Emelianenko, I tell them. And Osetins got excited “You know Emelianenko? Let him come here! We love him so much!” Did you end up going to Tshkinvali? I got there. I went to the meeting in Kislovodsk. From there, it’s only 200 kilometers to Tskhinvali. We got there fast in a car. Fedor is filming a movie. Did anyone invite you? Gosha invited me, there were other offers, but I’m being distant for now. My sports career is more important, you can’t be everywhere. My brother agreed to do it - and left to the jungle for two months. But he’s the champion, he has image fights. For me, such distraction is unacceptable. I will have time later to be in a movie. What are your memories about meeting with Vladimir Putin? Everything happened so spontaneously. In Petersburg there was an MMA event “Russia vs America” to which Putin came all of a sudden. Right after the fights we were invited to the Konstantinovskiy Palace. I barely took a shower, when they came running after me into the locker room “Hurry! The president is waiting!”. There was no talk of going home to change. We went there exactly how we cam in. Fedor was wearing jeans, and I’m in a sports suit. Among the guests were Silvio Berluskoni, Jean Claude Van Damme with his daughter… You drank vodka? Tea. I ended drinking alcohol long time ago. Sometimes if I’m in a good crowd I can afford to relax. Once every half a year. Did you like the Konstantinovskiy Palace? Very much! It was wonderfully renovated because of the anniversary. But most importantly they kept the spirit of that era. That’s not just some euro-renovation. In general I like old building, museums, theaters. What I don’t care about, is movies. Hunting, is also one of your hobbies? Many years ago I hear on television, how a wrestler went at the bear with a knife and a pitchfork. That’s how our ancestors would hunt. A bear will open up before attacking, gets up on his hind legs. At that point you put up a pitchfork to his throat and stick it into the ground. He will hang on it. After which you need to accurately cut him below the heart, so not to damage the skin. I also wanted to try the bear hunt one on one. Although for that wrestler it ended tragically. Why? The pitchfork bent under the weight of the bear. The hunter stabbed him in the heart with a knife, but in the last second a bear clawed half his head off. That is some game you thought up. Egers explained to me what you need to do. They stood behind me with guns as a safety. But still, you feel crazy emotions, when you go out on a bear, and you only have a knife and a pitchfork. Although a real fear I felt was only on rollecoasters in Japan. The most extreme rollercoaster in the world - height of about a hundred meters. And I was foolish enough to sit in the front. Fedya pranked me: like go sit overthere. Then I understood what mistake I made. I try to see where the rails are, on which we’ll be going down, but you can’t see anything below - only the abyss. You fly down and curse everything. In Tokyo, you and Fedor were awarded the name of the Samurai. What was that ceremony? Council of Japan swore us into secrecy and handed us the samurais sword in the chain mail. Now it’s laying at home in a closet. Fedor draws. What about you? No matter how hard I tried, I can’t. My brother really does draw amazingly. He’s got talent. Do you have his pictures in your house? No. Fedor only gives them to his older daughter. Nobody else. The elder Emelianenko just said that just not too long ago he felt himself a financially successful man. What about you? I can’t call myself financially sufficient. I have tons of debts. I live from fight to fight. I rent an apartment in Petersburg, for example. The governor Valentina Matvienko promised to help you with the living quarters Yes, she promised. It should come to fruition from day to day. But nobody is going to give us an apartment as a gift. They’ll just help us buy it at a discount. Seems like again I will have to borrow from friends. Is there a rule in life, which you do not break? Some people try to keep themselves within limits, and I’m just me. I’m not a sleazy, vindictive, or a sneaky person. I have one flaw - I speak the truth in any situation. Even if it’s not easy to hear. Oftentimes after that any relationship with a person ends. But I live easier like that. Most important thing is that my loving wife and daughters are always close. And all the other, just as they stick, they unstick the same way. Your wife understands you? In everything. I’m lucky. She knows what sport is like. After she finished with basketball Olga worked in a fitness center. I went there for a training, saw her and said to myself “I’m gone…” Olga said that, unlike other wives of fighters, she cannot sit front row during the fight. She is still not used to it? She doesn’t even watch my fights. It’s too hard. She usually just waits for me in the locker room. About how the fight is going she finds out from the audience’s reaction. Some American said about your brother “I don’t think he’s human, more like a cyborg…” It’s all nonsense. Americans are good at giving nicknames. Brothers Emelianenko are better than others - that’s true. We train more than anyone. But we’re not robots, terminators, or some “killers in the ring”, as they wrote about us. Remember the first MMA tournaments. What happened there? The fighters were either ex-wrestlers, or ex-strikers, or ex-boxers. And it starts: one tries to get it to the ground and get a submission. Boxer, the other way around, tries to keep his distance and strike. But me, I can do everything. I had a base in Judo and Sambo. But now everyone is thinking for some reason, that I’m an ex-boxer. I constantly get offers to seriously take up boxing. He said that his hand hurts. It’s sad. It would’ve been interesting to meet Kolya in the ring. I’m already used to opponents refusing to fight. They can think of different excuses! Last time it happened a week ago. My coach Yuri Razumov, couldn’t find me a sparring partner. Somebody has a fight coming up, somebody is injured. When he found out that a pretty goot fighter came from Chelyabinsk, Razumov offered him to spar with me. The guy was happy to do it. But after few hours he changed his mind, called back: “I’m sorry, I can’t. I got food poisoning. I ate something awful”. It’s probably the case that the guy just found out whom he will have to box with, and decided to keep his face in tact. I understand him. … That night, Aleksander got on the train back to Petersburg. And after a few days the news came out that he will start taking up boxing professionally. Because today’s champions for him are laughable to look at. Although he’s not leaving MMA either. He plans to mix them up. Emelianenko Junior - a genius at scandals - have surprised us again.