Fedor Emelianenko Announces Retirement
Posted on 21 Jun 2012
by MMAScoops.com Staff
After a 12-year career of knockouts, armbars, championships, and dominance, Fedor Emelianenko has reportedly announced his retirement from mixed martial arts competition, according to a report from Russian website Ria Novosti.
"I think it is time I quit," Emelianenko said, after knocking out Pedro Rizzo in 84 seconds Thursday afternoon. "My family influenced my decision. My daughters are growing without me, that's why it's time to leave." The 35-year-old also noted that he would not be enticed out of retirement by any "fantastic offers."
Rumors of retirement had swirled around Emelianenko since he openly contemplated the subject in the cage after a one-sided loss to Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva in February of last year.
From March 16, 2003, when he captured the Pride heavyweight title from Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, to June 26, 2010, when he was submitted by Fabricio Werdum, Fedor was widely considered to be the best heavyweight in MMA. For much of that time many considered him to be the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world as well. During that time period Fedor went undefeated, and the sole loss he suffered early in his career was considered a fluke cut stoppage.
His record is littered with names that make up a who's who of the heavyweight division in that period. He defeated Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira twice, Kazuyuki Fujita, Mark Coleman twice, Kevin Randleman, Mirko Cro Cop Mark Hunt, Tim Sylvia, and Andrei Arlovski. Many consider the August 2005 Cro Cop bout to be the most anticipated fight in MMA history and will likely be remembered as the peak of Fedor's reign.
At two points, 2007 and 2009, Fedor was the hottest free agent around. The UFC tried - and ultimately failed - to lure Emelianenko to their organization during both periods for fights against champions Randy Couture and Brock Lesnar, respectively. Many experts agree the latter bout would have been the most-bought MMA pay-per-view event ever besting UFC 100's 1.6 million buys, and the UFC even looked at booking the bout for the 100,000 seat Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, Texas, when they believed they were close to signing Emelianenko. Despite a contract offer which reportedly had the potential to be the richest in MMA history, Fedor and the UFC could not come to terms, due in large part to UFC not willing to co-promote Fedor's fights with his management company M-1 Global. Instead, Fedor signed with Affliction in 2007 and Strikeforce in 2009.
Fedor retires with a record of 34-4 with 1 no contest. His list of accolades includes being the Pride heavyweight champion, the 2004 Pride Heavyweight Grand Prix Champion, and the first and only WAMMA champion. He left the sport on a three fight win streak, with victories over Jeff Monson, Satoshi Ishii, and Pedro Rizzo.