Fedor Emelianenko has had his last bout.
After a short laudatio from his country’s dictator, the greatest MMA fighter is now officially retired and will “spend more time with his family”.
The russian heavyweight fought undefeated for ten years - not counting a loss during a tourney when an illegal strike caused a heavy cut.
During that reign, he was feared both as an aggressive puncher with masterful use of range as well as a world class Sambo player, showcasing throws, reversals and submissions that remain memorable to this day.
Fedor was a maverick in a division full of chiseled goliaths.
Only 6 foot tall, with a fair amount of fat, the laconic destroyer seemed at a perpetual physical disadvantage.
An old fighter’s saying describes his fights best - “the shorter fighter has to press the fight”.
90% of the time, that’s exactly what we saw.
Emelianenko, chasing his opponent with wild hooks through the ring.
Emelianenko, exploding into a throw from the clinch, seemlessly switching to almost to wicked-to-be-allowed ground and pound.
And Emelianenko, raising one fist calmly, no screaming, no cage climbing.
In 2010, MMA fans saw him taste defeat for the first time, and twice more after that.
“Is he done?”- was a regular headline in forae and articles.
The devout orthodox christian made some vague remarks but eventually stepped three more times into the ring, albeit versus non-top 10 opponents, much to the chagrin of both supporters and net-trolls.
On summer solstice 2012, Fedor defeated Pedro Rizzo in under 90 seconds.
The heavyweight throne remains empty, with no heir apparent.