(“Retire? No, I said I was going to ‘relax.’ That crazy translator lady always misquotes me.”)
Returning to his Russian homeland following his disappointing defeat at the hands of Antonio Bigfoot Silva on Saturday night, Fedor Emelianenko told reporters at the airport that he will likely fight again and that the pseudo-reitrement announcement he made following the fight was a knee-jerk reaction to racking up the second legitimate loss of his MMA career.
“I rushed to declare my retirement out of frustration. I will fight more. Possibly, I will return to the [Strikeforce] Heavyweight Grand-Prix,” Fedor told LifeSports.ru. “I am confident that I am capable of having a few more fights. I didn’t make any analysis yet on why I lost. I need to recover. I can’t see very well yet.”
When asked about Fedor’s decision, his Sambo coach Vladimir Voronov was optimistic that Emelianenko will be back on top again.
“He has a hematoma, but it will go. It’s very good that Fedor still has his fighting spirit, he is ready to break everyone now,” Voronov told the Russian language combat sports website. “Most importantly for him is not to have any psychological pressure. The loss will make him train with triple the effort.”
The Last Emperor’s striking coach, Alexander Michov is also confident that his charge could be snuck find his way back into the tournament if a participant is forced out of the grand prix and M-1 plays hardball with Strikeforce and Showtime the voting panel voted him the alternate.
“Fedor is quite able to return to the tournament,” Emelianenko’s striking coach, Alexander Michkov explained. “Everybody stumbles. This is not as terrible as everyone is making it out to be.”
On an interesting note, M-1′s director of operations Evengi Kogan mentioned to Ariel Helwani after Fedor’s loss Saturday that Emelianenko will likely spend some time in Holland training to amp up his preparations for his next fight if and when he decided to compete again. Reps from M-1 mentioned prior to the fight with Silva that they were planning on bringing in trainers from Ernesto Hoost’s Dutch fight team to help Fedor train, but it’s unclear whether or not they ended up making the trek to Stary Oskol.
(Video courtesy of YouTube/MMAFighting)
Besides the pressure M-1 likely put on its mealticket to return to the cage, it’s possible that Showtime may have leaned on Fedor a bit as well, considering the rumor that the company is moving into a partnership with the specialty network and that Emelianenko was likely a major bargaining chip for the deal.