Fedor Emelianenko Announces MMA Retirement
Speaking after the fight to state-owned Russian news agency RIA Novosti, Emelianenko said he was quitting the sport because he wanted to spend more time with his family. He added that not even “fantastic offers” would get him to return:
“I think it is time I quit. My daughters are growing without me; that’s why it’s time to leave.”
For those not in the know, Emelianenko is something of an MMA icon. His 34-4 (1 NC) career record was compiled over 12 years, and he was particularly big in Japan, where he fought most of his bouts and was Pride heavyweight champion from 2003, until the company was sold and taken apart in 2007.
From his December 2000 pro debut to 2010, he remained unbeaten, producing his first submission to Fabricio Werdum in 2010. He retires with victories over five UFC heavyweight champions, and is regarded by many in MMA circles as the most rounded and complete mixed martial artist of the century.
His popularity has remained undimmed. Thursday’s rapid defeat of the 38-year-old Rizzo, Emelianenko’s 34th career victory, was produced in front of a capacity crowd, including Russian president Vladimir Putin.
No news yet on what career path the former Russian army sambo specialist will take in his post-MMA years, but for now I imagine he’ll be happy to spend some quality time with the littler Emelianenkos in his life.
MMA fans, where would you rank the ‘The Last Emperor’ in the all-time standings?