Yesterday marked the end of an era, as legendary heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko announced his retirement from MMA following his knockout victory over Pedro Rizzo. As Fedor told RIA Novosti: “I think it is time I quit. My family influenced my decision. My daughters are growing without me, that’s why it’s time to leave.”
Fedor ends his 12-year career with an overall record of 34-4 (one no-contest), highlighted by a nearly four-year stint as the heavyweight champion of PRIDE, and notable victories over Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (twice), Mark Coleman (twice), Mirko Cro Cop, Kevin Randleman, Mark Hunt, Tim Sylvia, and Andrei Arlovski.
Despite his legacy-damaging losing skid in 2010-2011 under the Strikeforce banner, the Last Emperor still managed to go out on top. Judging from his dominant performance against Rizzo — in which Fedor showed flashes of the speed and power that established him as a legend in the first place — he could have gone another five years beating up faded legends and local cans. Instead, he walks away with his health and his dignity intact, and riding a three-fight win streak since November.
Raise a glass of vodka to one of the greatest of all time, and enjoy ten classic video moments from Fedor’s career after the jump…
(Fedor knocks out Hiroya Takada in 12 seconds at RINGS: Battle Genesis Vol. 6, 9/5/00. My God this lack of human emotion.)
(Fedor gets rocked by Kazuyuki Fujita, comes back to win by rear-naked choke @ Pride 26: Bad to the Bone, 6/8/03)
(Fedor destroys Gary Goodridge @ PRIDE Total Elimination 2003, 8/10/03)
(Fedor pulls off the slickest armbar of his career against Mark Coleman @ Pride Total Elimination 2004, 4/25/04)
(Fedor survives the “Randleplex,” defeats Kevin Randleman by kimura @ PRIDE Critical Countdown 2004, 6/20/04)
(Fedor defeats Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira for the second time at Pride Shockwave 2004, 12/31/04)
(Fedor harpoons Zuluzinho at Pride Shockwave 2005, 12/31/05)
(Fedor fends off a nasty keylock attempt by Mark Hunt before giving the Super Samoan a taste of his own medicine at Pride Shockwave 2006, 12/31/06)
(Fedor blitzes Tim Sylvia @ Affliction: Banned, 7/19/08)
(Fedor knocks Andrei Arlovski out of mid-air @ Affliction: Day of Reckoning, 1/24/09)