Fedor Retiring? Two Very Important People Don’t Believe He’s Done

February 13, 2011
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It’s not an easy moment for fans of any sport to watch a great walk away. Sometimes, however, it’s even harder when an athlete doesn’t walk away at the right time.

Few will remember Michael Jordan wearing a Washington Wizards uniform, or old school football fans watching Johnny Unitas strut out in a San Diego Chargers uniform. Fedor Emelianenko is considered one of the greatest fighters the sport of MMA has ever known, but watching him look human for only the second time in his storied career was hard for many fans.

Fedor Emelianenko New Jersey walkout

Fedor's final walkout? (Courtesy of Brandon Chase)

Fedor lost to Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva on Saturday night, and promptly hinted at his retirement in his post-fight interview. The Russian has suffered back-to-back losses for the first time ever in his career, and probably for the first time ever people saw him truly get manhandled by a much larger fighter.

Still, many don’t want to see him walk away right now. Two very important people involved in Fedor’s carer don’t believe he will walk away. Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker spoke about Fedor’s decision, saying he believes that Fedor will return and may even get a slot as an alternate in the tournament if someone else falls out.

“You know how that goes. People get very emotional during a fight and we’ll see. My position is we have many more fights with Fedor and I think he’ll honor his contract,” Coker said.

“There’s absolutely a possibility that he could be a replacement. There could be an injury and we could get Fedor back in the tournament, but either way he’ll be fighting high-level competition.”

Coker has put together a competition committee for the Heavyweight Grand Prix. The members of that group would be the ones to determine who would get an alternate slot should the tournament need a replacement.

Fedor at fight's end

Fedor at fight's end (Courtesy of Strikeforce)

Another person who is confident that Fedor is not done is his close friend and longtime manager Vadim Finkelstein, who feels in his heart of hearts that the Russian will not call Saturday night his last.

“I think Fedor was just really upset that he lost the fight because he was so, the way the fight finished, because he was so prepared for the fight. I don’t think it was a clear-cut loss. If it doesn’t get stopped by the doctor, we don’t know what would have happened in that third round. Because of that I think we will see Fedor return,” Finkelstein stated.

Ultimately, Finkelstein says he will leave it up to Fedor to decide if he is truly done or if he will go for another few rounds in the cage. Just by knowing him well, however, Finkelstein is confident fans haven’t seen the last of the great Fedor Emelianenko.

“The decision is Fedor’s, but I think I know him quite well and I think he’s still full of strength, and I think he will continue,” Finkelstein commented. “But the decision of course is up to him.”

Two of the most powerful figures in Fedor’s fight career believe he will return, but will he ever return to the form that saw him climb to the top of the heavyweight division, where he ruled for so many years? Can fans get behind a mid-level Fedor Emelianenko?

That is truly the question that remains.

Damon Martin is the lead staff writer and radio host for MMAWeekly.com.
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  • rob da rippah

    fedor, set down the cheese burgers and move to 205

    • rdonham

      It’s amazing that in a sport where everyone says “everyone loses” and “losing just happens” , that one of the greatest of all time loses a couple and then he has to Drastically change EVERYTHING, change weights, start from scratch , ect.

      The fact is the guy has finally shown that he is human – JUST LIKE EVERY FIGHTER IN MMA! Its Fedor ! he doesnt have to change everything, move weight classes and start from scratch.

      He’s the Muhammed Ali of MMA. When Ali lost to frasier, did people say he should move to light heavy?. The notion of him dropping is ridiculous.

      The only thing that Fedor has to change is his HUNGER to be the best again.

    • wonggfan

      I would not recommend this to Fedor. He has been a dominant HW champ for 10 years. What will moving to 205 do for him? Nothing. For CC or Randy moving to 205 makes sense because even at HW they were never the best (just one of the best).

      And at 205, there is no guarantee that Fedor could be the champ. BJ Penn’s move to LW worked extremely well for him. But I am not so sure if Fedor would have that sort of luck.

  • tizzle

    i had to put a comment here, so fedor may get another shot if someone gets injured well what about the replacements who don’t lose. so they may get over shadowed because the almighty fedor who lost is a bigger name. you want reasons why strikeforce is known as a joke well look no further. this tournament can build a star for them but no if a spot is opens fedor may get it. scott coker wake up.

  • BigGuy

    This Fedor is a joke. In the past 6+ years, he hasn’t beaten anyone worth talking about, so why are we surprised he lost his last two fights? He was great at one time, but he is done now. Later Fedor!

  • BigGuy

    By the way…Last I checked, Muhammed Ali fought top-ranked guys. Fedor’s been fighting the left over scraps in the sport for the ast many years. That is like you & I playing against Tiger Woods in golf. He is going to be the best because we are not!

    Retire or not, Fedor is not the great champ he was overhyped to be!!!

  • wonggfan

    Dear BigGuy

    So I guess Sylvia and AA were not dangerous opponents AT THE TIME THEY FACED FEDOR.

    As for Vladim and Coker, they are just like Dana White. They want to suck the juice out of Fedor.

    Fedor should retire. This is a sign that he is getting sluggish. His punches didn’t connect during the fight. His kimura attempt was not as sharp as before. And his opponents are getting bigger and younger.

    To Tizzle. Oh please. We are talking about Fedor. He sells. Look what UFC is doing with Brock, giving him another shot after he get destroyed by Cain.

    Coker, Vladim, Dana White..these guys don’t give a fuck.

  • mma24069

    stikeforce is a joke, this heavyweight grand prix is full of people who lost there way out of ufc, and those who are from ufc havnt made it. I dont want to take anything away from fedor. big guy is right hes fought nobodys for the past six years. retire or move to 205. Put a guy like carwin or mir in with fedor they would make him look worse than silva did. thats how my opinion. Stikeforce needs new commentators i had to put my tv on mute sat so i didnt have to hear shamrocks dumbass.

    • wonggfan

      Dude, SF sucks, Fedor has fought nobody, SF commentating sucks, only ex-UFC fags go to SF…get off Dana’s nuts.

      UFC is better than SF. I agree. But a true fan of MMA would understand the importance of respecting fighters. This means that fighters need to be paid better, treated better, and not get exploited. Competition between SF and UFC will lead to that route.

      I agree that Carwin can beat Fedor at this point. But I doubt Mir can do anything. Mir has a broken chin.