Following Fedor Emelianenko’s shocking summer loss to Fabricio Werdum, rampant rumors spread which indicated the Russian MMA great was strongly considering retirement. Those rumors were squashed when it was announced he would be participating in Strikeforce’s upcoming heavyweight tournament, but “The Last Emperor” recently revealed to MMAFighting.com’s Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour that those rumors were not unfounded.
“To tell the truth, I certainly, was — I am thinking about retiring but that’s not because of the loss,” said Fedor. “I used to think about it before [the loss to Fabricio Werdum].”
Speaking through his translator, Emelianenko explained to Helwani that, at 34 and after many years spent running his body through the gauntlet in as grueling a sport as MMA, it is drawing time for him to consider hanging up the gloves.
“This is just because of my age,” said Emelianenko. “Because of my age, because for the heavyweight sportsman my age is considered a very big one. So sometimes I’m thinking about maybe finishing my sports career because also my former injuries started reminding me about themselves. But I hope that I still will have some time to fight.”
“The Last Emperor” even provided a timetable for his retirement, telling Helwani on the subject, “I think maybe about a year and after it, it’s God’s will.”
Emelianenko will fight for the first time since losing to Werdum this February 12th; he will take on Antonio Silva in the opening round of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Silva.