EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Following a second round doctor stoppage from Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva Saturday night at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, N.J., the man many mixed martial arts fans look to as the greatest fighter of all time, may have just retired.
Speaking to announcer Gus Johnson following the bout, and with one eye completely swollen shut, Fedor Emelianenko (31-3, 1 NC) said, “Something went wrong from the very beginning, and I couldn’t readjust myself. Maybe it’s time to leave.”
And when Johnson asked Fedor to clarify himself, and if this indeed meant it would be the last time we would see him in the cage, ”The Last Emperor” said, “Yes, maybe it’s the last time. Maybe it’s high time. Thank you for everything. I spent a great, beautiful, long sporting life. Maybe it’s God’s will.”
Of course, it is the worst possible moment to ask someone that sort of question. Most fighters need time to go home, unwind and reflect on this sort of thing.
The man was undefeated for ten years straight (2000-2010). His first loss also came by doctor stoppage, against Tsuyoshi Kosaka, in Dec. 2000. He won 27 straight fights after that until he was submitted by Fabricio Werdum last year. And now this.
Has Father Time finally caught up with Fedor Emelianenko?
In my own interview with Fedor just last month, I asked him how long he planned to keep fighting. He said, “I will continue to compete for as long as my health and God allows me to. I look forward to getting back in the cage and performing to my highest level.”
There was nothing tentative about Fedor in his fight tonight. He came out fast and aggressive, and he landed some good shots. The biggest problem proved to be Silva’s size, and when he had Fedor on the ground and got on top, there was little Fedor could do to escape.
Strikeforce commentator Mauro Ranallo posed the question to his cohort Frank Shamrock after the fight, “If it is feasible at this stage of his career for Fedor to move to the light heavyweight division?”
Shamrock pretty much ignored the question, but it is a legitimate option. It is just a matter of whether or not Fedor would want to embark upon what would practically be an entire lifestyle change at this point in his life.
Something tells me he would not.
I literally almost shed a tear when Fedor said, “Yes, maybe it’s the last time. … Maybe it’s God’s will.”
Only Fedor knows if his heart is still in it. But it sure would be fun to see him at light heavyweight. Fedor did not attend the post-fight press conference and was taken to the hospital after the fight.
For a full recap and play-by-play of what took place in the “Fedor vs. Silva” fight as well as the entire event see: ProMMAnow.com LIVE results and play-by-play and Strikeforce results: Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva takes out Fedor Emelianenko in Strikeforce tournament.