Russian superstar Fedor Emelianenko has revealed during a press conference in Russia that his next fight could be his last.
Fedor is scheduled to face former UFC heavyweight fighter Pedro Rizzo in St.Petersburg on June 21st, and it appears that could be his final swan song.
“I think it’s time to call it a day,” Fedor told reporters in his native country. “This fight may be my last one.”
In all honesty the news doesn’t come as quite the surprise it would have a few years ago when Emelianenko still appeared to be an unstoppable force on a 10 year unbeaten run.
Losses to Fabricio Werdum and Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva while fighting under the Strikeforce banner has meant that nowadays the fighter is still regarded fondly by fans, but there’s no longer the insatiable desire to see him fight that there once was.
Making matters more difficult is the fact that Fedor has been alienated from the sports biggest stage, the UFC, due to well documented bad-blood between his management M-1 Global and UFC president Dana White.
With Zuffa now owning both the UFC and Strikeforce, and with it almost all the world’s best heavyweight fighters, it’s left Emelianenko with few meaningful opponents to keep him motivated and keep the fans interested.
That’s why he’s been consigned to swatting aside the likes of Jeff Monson and Satoshi Ishii in his latest appearances in the ring, and also why he’s now facing a 37 year-old Rizzo who was at one time a long standing, hard-hitting UFC star, but has essentially been on the fringes of the sport for the past five years, and in fact hasn’t fought since the summer of 2010.
Therefore, while it’s sad to see one of MMA’s greats hanging up his gloves, it’s not hard to see why Fedor is now seriously contemplating calling time on his memorable career.