Fedor Emelianenko has decided to hang it up after an illustrious thirteen-year career in MMA. MMAFighting reports the Russian fighter’s June 21 bout with Pedro Rizzo will be his last.
In an interview translated by Ukranian MMA journalist Artem Yalansky, Fedor states:
“My previous fight was in Moscow and my last fight will be in St. Petersburg on June 21st,” Emelianenko says. “It will be the last fight in my career.”
“Is this your final decision?” the interviewer asks.
“Yes,” Emelianenko says, “I think it’s time to end my career.”
Fedor has officially stated he is retiring to spend more time with his family but the 35-year-old fighter has also alluded to lingering injury issues after his last several fights.
Fedor has wrestled with the choice to retire for several years now, mentioning that he began thinking of retirement prior to his first loss in ten years to Fabricio Werdum.
The humble Ukrainian-born fighter was one of the most controversial fighters in MMA history due to his rabid fanbase and detractors. What cannot be argued is that Emelianenko is one of the most decorated heavyweights in MMA history and that his ten year unbeaten streak is one of the longest in MMA history. A fact made even more impressive since he fought at heavyweight.
While his detractors harp on matchmaking and his confrontational management team, and many of his fans lived in the past, it cannot be denied that Fedor was one of the best heavyweight fighters in history. Fedor was a PRIDE and RINGS tournament champion, in addition to being a three-time SAMBO World Champion, and two third place finishes in Judo.
Fedor’s career began nearly 12 years ago on May 21, 2000 in Yekaterinburg, Russia and it will end June 21 in St. Petersburg.