In his first official statement since announcing his retirement after beating Pedro Rizzo at M-1 Global: "Fedor vs. Rizzo," in St. Petersburg, Russia, on June 21, 2012, mixed martial arts (MMA) legend Fedor Emelianenko spoke with "Inside MMA" to explain the reasoning for his decision to finally call it a career.
The man who many once considered to be one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time cited family as the main reason for wanting to move on:
"I've got daughters, and they're growing up without me. This is very, very difficult for me. Family is always first place for me, so this is the time."
Fedor was asked if the constant questions about his retirement had any bearing on his decision. Not according to ex-PRIDE champion. According to Fedor, it was just time:
No, I'm not tired of the questions. There are actually going to be more of the questions. People will accept my decision. They gotta understand that it's my decision and I've got to go.You shouldn't be disappointed that I'm leaving. Life is going on. I want to thank everyone who has supported me. Eventually the time to go was coming. My time has come. We'll try to make some new MMA stars.
But, is Fedor done for good? Is there any opponent who could make him strap the gloves back on and stroll into the cage?
Even though M-1's hacked website got some fans' hopes up for no reason, a fight between Emelianenko and former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Brock Lesnar is not happening.
However, Fedor was asked if that fight or any other fights with a big name opponent could possibly lure him out of retirement. Fedor was non-committal, but he did leave the door open, if even but ever so slightly:
"I'm not promising, but anything is possible."
For now, Fedor looks to be retired for good. Should that change for any reason, especially if that reason is to fight "The Brockness Monster," MMAmania.com will have all the up-to-date news you need to catch you up to speed.