It was tough watching Fedor Emelianenko lose again. Even seeing him go down face first limp after a vicious uppercut landed on his chin delivered by Dan Henderson, I was still saying, “don’t worry. He’s fine. It’s just going to be like the fight against Fujita in 2003. He’ll recover…” Then Herb Dean stepped in to stop the fight. It was surreal. I thought I was dreaming. When I realized I wasn’t waking up in a cold sweat, and was instead witnessing Fedor waking up from the TKO, I reluctantly had to accept the facts.
Fedor, Please Don’t Retire!
I have to admit (if you haven’t noticed by now), Emelianenko is one of my favorite fighters. Been a fan since he first entered Pride FC after he bullied a giant named Semmy Schilt into a decision via vicious ground and pound and numerous submission attempts (Schilt later on became a multiple winner of the K1 Grand Prix). I even own one of the first Emelianenko walk out tees from the Pride days. So don’t be shocked when I say…
Fedor, please don’t retire!
There’s still hope for Emelianenko’s career. Anything can happen in MMA. Anything HAS happened in MMA. How about the more recent and comparable example of Tito Ortiz. Ortiz’s career was in worse shape than Fedor. Ortiz hadn’t won in 5 fights. He hadn’t won in 5 years. His fight against Ryan Bader was for his job in the UFC. To many people’s surprise, Ortiz defeated Bader, and now is fighting for a number one contender spot. I believe that Fedor can pull off a similar career-changing event with the right motivation and the right timing and opportunity.
People still want to see Fedor. I hope Zuffa believes this too, and realize it won’t hurt to have Fedor on their roster to bolster their PPV numbers. He is still a great name that will provide intriguing match-ups whether it be with Strikeforce or with the UFC. Imagine Fedor versus the likes of Brock Lesnar, Frank Mir, Roy Nelson or Shane Carwin. How about Randy Couture coming out of retirement for the fight that got away? I’d love to see Couture vs Emelianenko. I do believe that the M1 Global co-promotion stipulations needs to give as they no longer have the aura of the old Fedor as a bargaining chip. Hopefully, M1 realize this blatant truth.
If Emelianenko decides to come back and fight again, or call it a career, he will always be remembered as one of the best heavyweights of his time and I’ll still wear the Fedor walkout-tee shirt with pride.