Should Fedor to Retire?
Fedor Emelianenko has been in the fight game for 19 years. The first half of his career being mostly in Pride FC.
Watching Fedor the last few years has been bittersweet. Should Fedor retire? Is it time for him to hang up the gloves and pursue training or commentary? Is there anything left for him to accomplish?
Similar to BJ Penn, Fedor is the guy you always root for but wish would just retire.
The effects of father time are inevitable. The effects of a nearly 20-year career are undeniable. Add to that, the brutal rule set he fought under and Fedor’s age as a fighter is nearing that of a 30-year career.
Storied MMA Career
With Pride rules being what they were, it’s fair to say Fedor has taken his lumps.
Cro Cop battered Fedor’s head and body with kicks.
Fedor was grounded and pounded by Hong Man Choi. Choi outweighed him by 100 plus pounds.
Kevin Randleman suplexed Fedor on his head. The late Randleman being one of the most physically imposing fighters to step foot in a cage anywhere.
These are just the fights Fedor won!
He has KO’d and submitted a who’s who list of martial artists. Many of his fans view him as one of the greatest of all time because of this.
A Downward Turn
But 44 fights, including at least 10 fights with current or future Hall of Famers, wears on your body. Considering Fedor is also an undersized heavyweight also adds to the equation.
In his last fight with Ryan Bader, Fedor was put down in less than a minute. It’s hard to imagine a prime Fedor fighting to the same result with Bader.
If we examine his last 12 fights, we see something very telling. After a successful Strikeforce debut, Fedor lost 3 bouts in a row. All to top tier competition, mind you, but 3 fights none the less.
After the TKO loss to Dan Henderson, he went on to win 5 in a row. But who were these 5 opponents he beat?
Lets just say the best of the bunch were Pedro Rizzo and Jeff Monson. Both of whom’s best days in the cage are behind them.
Fedor then takes on his next challenge, five fights removed from his last loss. His opponent, Matt Mitrione, was a clear underdog and a fighter unproven. This was supposed to be another stepping stone for the last emperor.
However, the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.
It took Matt Mitrione less than a round to tko Fedor.
Fedor’s next 2 fights were wins. However, one was against a natural light heavyweight and the other against a fighter tailor-made for his style.
Then comes his loss to Bader.
So out of his last twelve fights, he lost 5 of them. Going 7-5 in the last 12, with a cumulative record of 38-6 shows a serious downward trend. When you consider he was the favorite in his last 9 fights, it’s even more telling.
Time to Move On?
One thing a fighter never wants to hear is, it’s time to walk away. Consider Roy Jones Jr., whose records only blemish at one time was a disqualification in the Montell Griffin fight.
Roy, at one point, could have hung up his gloves and been considered one of the greatest to ever enter the ring. But countless fights after his prime smeared public opinion on the matter.
Fedor Emelianenko could be destined for the same fate as Roy Jones Jr.
A great fighter, with nothing left to prove in the cage, whose greatness is in perpetual question.
So, should Fedor retire?
It’s not for anyone to say when someone should retire, however, the indicators, both on paper and visually, speak for themselves.