Although Fedor Emelianenko turned 34 years young today, the world’s former/current top heavyweight claims he’s ready to call it a career once he completes his commitment to Strikeforce.
The Russian had his unprecedented 27-fight win streak snapped by Fabricio Werdum this past June. The shocking upset not only cost Fedor his aura of invincibility, but also much of his power at the negotiating table as he enters the final scrap on his Strikeforce contract.
“Right now, Strikeforce is struggling to find me a serious opponent. Alistair Overeem keeps finding all sorts of excuses not to fight me,” Emelianenko told MixFight.ru (translated by LowKick.com). “The remaining stars have lost in their recent fights, so the promotion has no desire to put them up against me. And Fabricio Werdum is still recovering from his surgery. In addition, I have only one fight remaining with Strikeforce.”
The humbling loss appears to have reenergized the former Pride champion. For the first time in his illustrious career, Emelianenko has publicly endorsed the ‘anyone, anytime, anywhere (but the UFC)’ mentality, much to the dismay of his controlling M-1 Global management team.
On the flipside, a motivated fighter that’s prepared to make the arduous trek back up the mountain typically doesn’t suggest his next fight might be his last either.
“I’m yet to decide whether I’m going to continue my fighting career after this contract expires,” he said. “Also, my candidacy nominated for the Post of Deputy in Belgorod Regional Duma, and if I’m elected, I think, will defend the interests of the people and try to do my best efforts for the development of sport. But again, I think it’s too early to talk about it. I have to finalize the contract and prepare for my last bout.”
While Fedor has many post-MMA options available to him, the last sentence of his quote could possibly be the most telling as to where his head‘s at. The fact that he wants to “finalize the contract” is a solid indicator he’s ready to reclaim his throne long-term.
Perhaps all this retirement talk was an attempt by Team Fedor to regain some of the leverage they lost courtesy of Werdum? ‘If you don’t give me what I want, I’m taking my ball back to Russia with me,’ if you will.
Emelianenko was hoping to return to action before the year was through, however M-1 and Strikeforce have been trying to hash out an extension for several months to no avail. He’s now looking to reemerge in early 2011.