The future of Russian heavyweight great Fedor Emelianenko remains unclear after the legendary “Last Emperor” suffered the second legitimate loss of his career to Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva last night.
While Fedor was able to secure the first round on two of the judges scorecards, Silva was able to dominate the last holder of the PRIDE heavyweight championship in the second round. The contest was stopped at the conclusion of the round due to damage Fedor had suffered to his right eye, which was swollen shut.
“I want to thank for you for your support,” said Fedor after the fight. “Something was wrong from the beginning. I didn’t adjust. Maybe it is time to leave.”
When pressed in the cage afterward by Showtime announcer, Gus Johnson, whether this was indeed the last time he would fight, the revered Fedor said, “Yes, maybe this is last time, maybe it’s high time [to retire]. I had a great, beautiful sporting life. Yes, maybe it’s time. Thank you very much for the support. Thank God for everything.”
Fedor’s management team, M-1 Global, issued a press release after the event stating that he would reflect on the loss and his future and make a clear decision shortly. M-1 Global Director of Operations Evgeni Kogan stated that Fedor wanted to continue to fight after the second round, and that the evening was disappointing.
“The Commission erred on the side of caution in stopping the bout when Fedor wanted to continue and we put our trust in their decision – a fighter’s safety is always paramount,” said Kogan. “Fedor trained harder than he ever had for this fight against Silva and we’ll never know what the outcome would have been had they entered into the third round. Tonight was disappointing.”
Despite the loss, Kogan noted that the organization planned to move forward.
“Fedor is one the greatest fighters in MMA history and his legacy will always exist. Although his loss was unfortunate, it doesn’t affect our plans going forward; for M-1 Global’s day-to-day operations, it’s business as usual. We have a heavy schedule of events and significant announcements to make in the coming weeks. M-1 has over 80 fighters and Fedor is one of them. His legacy is helping the brand seek out and develop the next superstars of the sport.”