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Fedor Emelianenko reportedly announces retirement after TKO win

Fedor Emelianenko beat Pedro Rizzo by first-round TKO in 84 seconds on Thursday in Russia, and then immediately announced his retirement in front of a cheering crowd.

“I think it is time I quit,” Emelianenko said, according to Russian site Ria Novosti. “My family influenced my decision. My daughters are growing without me, that’s why it’s time to leave.”

Emelianenko made his announcement with his wife and daughters beside him in the ring. The 35-year-old said he was contemplating retirement last year after getting demolished by Big Foot Silva, but this was his fourth fight since then. This also seemed more convincing because it came after a win not a loss; fighters are more prone to be turned off from the sport after being beat up, not after winning.

Fedor is considered by many to be the greatest fighter in MMA history. He went 28 straight fights from 2001-2009 without losing (27 wins and one no contest). He dominated Pride in Japan, beating Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at the top of his game twice, Mark Coleman twice, and Mirko Cro Cop. His legacy became tarnished when he lost three straight Strikeforce fights to Fabricio Werdum, Big Foot Silva, and Dan Henderson from 2010-2011, but many still consider him to be the greatest.

Critics also contend that Fedor didn’t fight the best competition in the world because he never fought in the UFC. While that is true, Emelianenko still put together one of the most impressive resumes ever.

H/T MMA Fighting

Fedor Emelianenko to Fight in Russia, Possibly Japan; Not Retiring

Fedor Emelianenko lost his third fight in a row two weekends ago, falling to Dan Henderson in a first-round knockout and stoppage. The third consecutive loss, coupled with a release from Strikeforce, left plenty of fans wondering if Emelianenko would retire. After all, it was Fedor who raised the possibility following his loss to Big Foot Silva two fights ago.

Looks like the worries are unfounded; Fedor is not retiring. M-1 Global President and co-founder Vadim Finkelstein said in a statement Monday that Fedor has future fight plans.

“We consulted with Fedor and it was decided that he should not leave the sport in this way. His friends and past opponents support Fedor in continuing his career and he agreed,” said Finkelstein. “We want to organize a fight for Fedor in Russia and have already begun working in this direction. If everything goes as planned, we will produce a card in Moscow or St. Petersburg sometime in the fall with Fedor as the main event.” The opponent is yet to be determined.

More plans are also in the mix according to Finkelstein, “In addition to the fight in Russia, we’re also working with our Japanese contacts to organize a New Year’s Eve event in Japan that Fedor would participate in as well.”

Boom, done. I have to say I’m quite pleased. Before getting knocked out by Henderson, Fedor had recorded a knockdown and was winning the fight. He’s not the untouchable specimen he was five or 10 years ago, but he’s good enough to keep fighting. I’m glad to hear he will not go out on his third straight loss.

Aleksander Emelianenko Reportedly Ripped Fedor’s Coaches After Henderson Loss

Fedor Emelianenko changed his training regimen for his fight with Dan Henderson. He chose to work with his brother Aleksander who’s also a talented fighter. Although he trained with his brother, the result was the same — a third straight loss. Just like last time, the Emelianenko crew is doling out blame following the defeat.

According to a translation by Fighters Only Magazine via Bloody Elbow, Aleksander ripped Fedor’s coaches:

“They sat like two amoebas, and did not know what to say. They were asked direct questions and would say, “It is difficult to say… we will see in the fight,” – what kind of a coach says that? Only one who doesn’t understand the sport. I just call them ‘Stopwatch’ and ‘Towel’. That’s as much use as they are, that’s it,” Aleks snarled.

“[MMA] is constantly improving, but ‘Stopwatch’ and ‘Towel’ have not changed anything in the program – just frozen in time and not been able to develop the base that Fedor already has. Fedor could train himself, he must take on it personally, to rethink many of the training points to learn and develop. Suffer and work!

“We’ll talk with Fedor – whether he wants to change something in his preparation. If he wants to, I will make the effort.”

[Read more...]

Dan Henderson Expects a Dangerous Fedor

The fight for which we’ve been waiting the past several months is finally taking place. Dan Henderson and Fedor Emelianenko will square off Saturday at Sears Centre Arena outside Chicago in an M-1/Strikeforce card on Showtime. Fedor has lost two straight fights after winning 27 in a row. Hendo has won back-to-back fights as a light heavyweight and is stepping up in weight to face Fedor. He knows he’ll have his hands full.

“I am expecting a very dangerous Fedor in this fight,” Henderson wrote in a post on Yahoo! Sports. “I don’t buy that he is past his prime. I think people are reading too much into his losses against Fabricio Werdum and Antonio Silva.

“I watched both of those fights, and I believe I’d be wrong to think Fedor will not being at his best this Saturday. I think anybody who has his back to the wall coming off two losses is definitely more dangerous.”

Hendo says he feels like Fedor got cocky with his submission against Werdum. He thinks The Emperor was somewhat out of shape against Big Foot Silva, and acknowledges the weight difference was a factor.

Hendo also revealed some of his plans for the fight. He says he’ll use the clinch to control things and his wrestling to set up his monster right hand.

Like Henderson, I don’t believe Fedor is done. Emelianenko got caught by Werdum and was mismatched against Silva. Against someone his size like Hendo, I’m expecting a win. If he can’t get the victory, then it may be time to give it up.

Jon Jones Has Interest in Fighting Fedor

Jon Bones Jones is the reigning UFC light heavyweight champion and he was set to defend his title at UFC 133 against Rashad Evans until he was sidelined by a hand injury. Jones shouldn’t miss much time, and he could end up fighting the winner between Evans and Phil Davis when he returns. If he doesn’t fight either of those men, it sounds like he’d also be interested in fighting legend Fedor Emelianenko.

Speaking prior to the UFC 129 card in Toronto, Bones said:

“Oooh, Fedor– that would be the fight that interests me the most,” Jones said. “I admire Fedor a lot, and that would be a great gauge to see where I’m at in my career. As far as fighting Dan Henderson, I would love that fight, as well. I’m not trying to call them out but I would be honored to fight either one of them.”

Fedor and Henderson are set to fight this summer so Jones has to wait in line. Even so, it is highly unlikely that Jones faces either one of these men immediately. A loss to Hendo would be devastating to Fedor and it would likely take him out of the spotlight. A win might give him the confidence to take on a heavyweight rather than a light heavyweight.

This is mostly talk from Jonny Bones, but it does show us one thing: Jones thinks quite highly of himself to want to face either of these two men. Of course, that’s nothing we didn’t already know.

Is a Heavyweight Fight Against Fedor Emelianenko Fair to Dan Henderson?

After a month of discussing a potential Strikeforce fight between Dan Henderson and Fedor Emelianenko, one was finally agreed to by both fighters. The bout will be in July, and according to MMA Weekly, it will be at 220 pounds. Getting the fighters to agree on a weight was the tough part, and if it is at 220 pounds, I have to ask the question: is that fair to Dan Henderson?

Whether it’s been in Pride, the UFC, or Strikeforce, Dan Henderson has always been down to fight any opponent. He’s competed at lightweight, welterweight, middleweight, and light heavyweight classes, and he’s currently a highly-ranked light heavyweight and middleweight fighter. To give you an idea of his flexibility, he fought both Nogueira brothers in the span of less than three years even though one is a heavyweight and the other is a light heavyweight. Hendo’s management also seems unconcerned with the weight issue, saying since Henderson is challenging Fedor, it should be at Fedor’s preferred weight.

Still, even if Hendo is down like usual, this to me is more about Fedor. His loss to Big Foot Silva showed he was at a huge size and weight disadvantage and he was subsequently dominated. Even in a win against Hong Man Choi, Fedor was beat up pretty good by the 7-footer. He needs to fight opponents more his size, and Hendo is an undersized opponent. If he can’t beat Henderson at 220 pounds, which is an unfair weight for Dan, then he needs to retire. But even if Henderson is open to a fight at 220 pounds, that doesn’t seem to be fair. A fair fight should be somewhere in between where each man generally fights.

Fedor typically weighs in at 225-230 pounds for his fights. Henderson has been fighting at light heavyweight where the limit is 205 pounds. If anything seems fair, it would be a 215-pound limit that makes Fedor cut down more weight to make himself more even with Hendo. As it is, it seems like Hendo would be at too much of a disadvantage.

Fedor Emelianenko Will Fight in July Strikeforce Event

Fedor Emelianenko had some people worried last month when he declared he might retire immediately after getting his face bashed in by Big Foot Silva (watch the video, see the pictures). Luckily that talk didn’t last long — we had heard Fedor was interested in fighting in a Russian sambo event but decided against it. No doubt he needed time to heal from his injuries and get back to his senses. That has happened, and the good news is we’ll be seeing Fedor in the Octagon before too long.

Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker revealed to Sherdog’s Beatdown radio show that “Fedor’s gonna fight sometime in July.” Coker continued “It’s probably toward the end of July or mid-July, but we have fights with Fedor that we’re gonna honor and continue forward.”

Coker also added that Fedor may be used as an alternate for the Heavyweight Grand Prix in which he already was defeated by Silva. Sergei Kharitonov beat Andrei Arlovski in the other quarterfinal, but the other side of the tournament has yet to begin.

The big question is who Emelianenko will fight next, but at this point we have more questions than answers. As always, we’ll have to stay tuned to see the latest developments, but I wouldn’t be wild about seeing Fedor fight another super-sized heavyweight. Who knows? Maybe the Fedor-Dan Henderson fight may actually happen.