There was talk of Russian legend Fedor Emelianenko retiring if he were to lose to renowned veteran striker Pedro Rizzo at the M-1 Global: Fedor vs. Rizzo event which occurred earlier today (June 21, 2012) in St. Petersburg, Russia.
It appears that's it's true. According to Lowkick's Anton Gurevich, Emelianenko has retired after a lengthy career saying:
"I think it's time. I'm retiring from sports. I still have the SAMBO World Championships. My family is the reason I will not be fighting again. My daughters are growing without their father, so it's the right time to leave...There's no 'fantastic' offer that could tempt me out of retirement. I'm retiring to spend more time with my family"
During the actual fight, "The Last Emperor" came out swinging against his Brazilian foe, catching Rizzo with some powerful leg kicks and then blasting the 38 year old with a huge right hand which sent Rizzo to the canvas. After some quick follow-up ground and pound strikes, it was all she wrote.
See the video here.
Emelianenko stood tall as the raucous Russian crowd roared in approval. Even Russian President Vladimir Putin got in on the act, entering the ring afterwards to congratulate the Stary Oskol slugger on his victory.
The rest of the event featured a few surprises as well as two titles changing hands.
In the co-main event of the evening, M-1 Global interim heavyweight champion Kenny Garner looked to avenge his last defeat as he battled reigning M-1 heavyweight champion and top prospect Guram Gugenishvili.
Gugenishvili started strong, taking Garner down immediately and nearly sinking in a rear naked choke, but the American persevered and not only escaped the hold but took top position and began to reign down some strikes. After a stand-up, Garner began having his way with the champ on the feet.
By the midway point of the first round, Gugenishvilli was completely gassed and commentator Jens Pulver repeatedly called him out for it.
For the remainder of the bout, Gugenishvili would start the beginning of each round strongly, but Garner would completely take over with his improved submission defense, conditioning and power. Garner closed the third round in devastating fashion, battering Gugenishvili with huge hooks and uppercuts and causing severe swelling under the Russian's left eye.
Gugenishvili would fail to answer the bell at the start of the fourth round, giving Garner the undisputed M-1 heavyweight title.
In lightweight championship action, Musa Khamanaev took the fight to the titleholder Daniel Weichel early on with a big takedown. Weichel would sweep the challenger beautifully, taking his back and hunting for a choke but Khamanaev escaped out the back door and resumed attacking from within Weichel's guard.
In a surprise move, Khamanaev dropped back for a heel hook which was sunk in deep and Weichel immediately tapped, but the damage had already been done as he would be limping around the cage afterwards.
Musa Khamanaev is the new M-1 lightweight champion.
Lastly, Jeff Monson took to the ring against fellow burly opponent Denis Komkin. Komkin stuffed Monson's initial takedown attempt, landing in top position but Monson was stubborn and kept pushing forward, eventually gaining top position and sinking in his patented North-South choke (also called the Monson choke).
For a recap of the significant main card action from M-1 Global: Fedor vs. Rizzo, click here.
The full results of the M-1 Global: Fedor vs. Rizzo event are posted below:
265 lbs.: Fedor Emelianenko def. Pedro Rizzo via knockout in round one
265 lb. title.: Kenny Garner def. Guram Gugenishvili via TKO in round three
155 lb. title.: Musa Khamanaev def. Daniel Weichel via submission (heel hook) in round one
265 lbs.: Jeff Monson def. Denis Komkin via submission (Monson choke) in round one
155 lbs.: Marat Gafurov def. Mairbek Taisumov via split decision
155 lbs.: Mikhail Malyutin def. Renat Gasanov via TKO in round one
205 lbs.: Ramazan Emeev def. Alberta Duraeva by TKO in round one
170 lbs.: Vugar Bakhshiev def. Jerome Bouisson via submission (heel hook) in round one
145 lbs.: Pavel Vitruk def. Radoslaw Piechnik via unanimous decision
205 lbs.: Akhmed Sultanov def. Denis Goltsov via submission (heel hook) in round one
205 lbs.: Abdulmazhid Magomedov def. Davreka Isakova by TKO in round one