It appears the curtain may finally be dropping on the career of legendary heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko. The 35-year old Emelianenko, who fights Pedro Rizzo next month in Russia, recently spoke about his immediate future in an interview where he pointed to the bout as possibly being his final appearance inside the ring.
“I think it’s time to call it a day. This fight may be my last one,” said Emelianenko to Russian outlet RIA Novosti.
The statements mark a change in attitude from “The Last Emperor” who had avoided the topic of retirement even after dropping a trio of fights in Strikeforce. Emelianenko had also come forward in the past few months to amp up buzz about the possibility of signing a deal with the UFC.
While Emelianenko left some room for a return in his remarks, it seems for now he’ll only be focusing on Rizzo and nothing beyond their June 22 bout.
“I have been learning from Pedro’s fights and have a lot of respect for him. He is a fighter of a great maturity, beating many of the strongest,” concluded Emelianenko on his opponent.
If he does indeed call it quits Emelianenko will exit the sport with an overall record of 33-4 (plus the result against Rizzo) with 25 stoppages and wins over some of MMA’s greatest competitors including Mirko Filipovic and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.
PHOTO CREDIT – STRIKEFORCE