Initial reports following Fedor Emelianenko’s victory over Pedro Rizzo on Thursday left his retirement in doubt, but it appears that the legendary Russian fighter has finally decided to hang up his gloves.
“I think it is time I quit,” Emelianenko said, according to a report by the Russian News & Information Agency RIA Novosti.
“My family influenced my decision. My daughters are growing without me, that's why it's time to leave.”
Emelianenko, 35, also apparently said that there are no “fantastic offers” that could tempt him out of retirement, specifically mentioning that even exacting revenge on Fabricio Werdum was not of great importance to him.
Russian president Vladimir Putin was in attendance at Fedor’s final fight, getting up in the ring afterwards to congratulate him.
“I want to congratulate Fedor and thank him from all of us, martial arts fans,” Putin said; according to Russian news site RT.com. “It is because of him this sport became so popular in our country.”
Fedor went the majority of his career relatively undefeated.
He lost to Tsuyoshi Kosaka in just the fifth fight of his career in 17 seconds due to a cut.
Fedor fought to a 31-1 record before ever again tasting defeat, that being to Werdum under the Strikeforce banner. That started some dominoes toppling, however, as Fedor lost two more fights before he exited the promotion.
The win over Rizzo on Thursday was his third consecutive victory since a loss to Dan Henderson in Strikeforce.
Fedor dominated the heavyweight division in the early 2000s fighting for Pride Fighting Championships in Japan. Pride’s heavyweight class was considered the premier assembly of big men in the world at the time.
The UFC eventually tried to sign Fedor to fight in the Octagon, but company officials could never come to terms with the Russian great’s management company, M-1 Global.
Fedor Emelianenko’s record stands at 34-4 as he hangs up his gloves for the final time.