‘I’m NOT retiring!’: Russian MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko clears up quit talk after KO win vs ‘Rampage’ Jackson in Japan (VIDEO)
Russian MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko has clarified that he is NOT hanging up his gloves quite yet after his first-round KO win against former UFC champion Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson at Bellator 237 in Japan.
Emelianenko, 43, finished Jackson inside the first three minutes of their heavyweight headliner at Saitama Super Arena on Saturday.
During the post-fight interview, the translation made it seem as if ‘The Last Emperor’ was announcing that the fight was his final bow in the sport he has graced for two decades.
However, the Russian former PRIDE champion later clarified he had meant it was his final fight in Japan, and that he still has plans for two more outings – in the US and Russia – before calling time on his career.
“I’m doing my tour and this is my final fights, and I want[ed] to do a fight in Japan, I want to do a fight in US, and I want to do Russia,” Emelianenko said, MMA Junkie reported.
“It was my retirement fight [only] in Japan. So I’m not retiring.”
Fedor: This is my last fight in JapanInterpreter: I am retiring 🤦♂️🤦♂️🤦♂️ https://t.co/r5qut1O5LF— Denis Geyko (@DenisGeykoRT) December 29, 2019
Rampage snuck into the team photo 😆 pic.twitter.com/5t6bRJV4Si— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) December 29, 2019
It was a one-sided victory for Emelianenko which took his staggering wins tally to 39 in 47 pro fights, on what was his first appearance in four years in Japan – the country where he established a major name for himself under the PRIDE banner.
Emelianenko finished Jackson with a crunching right hand, and said the stoppage had been a good call from referee Kevin MacDonald.
“It was a good stoppage because I felt like I would just get on top of him and start to deliver very heavy punches,” Emelianenko said.
“Right after my punch he just collapsed and went face down. There was no necessity to do more.”
It was disappointment for former UFC light heavyweight champion Jackson, 41, who suffered a first stoppage resulting from strikes since 2005, and a first-ever defeat directly from punches.
The American later complained he had felt like a “hippopotamus” in the cage and was contemplating dropping back down a division.
“I’m not in a bad mood,” said Jackson, who suffered his 14th defeat in 52 pro MMA outings.
“I just got to get my damn weight down. I felt like a hippopotamus out there. But that’s my fault. No excuses. It’s all right. I’ll be back. But I ain’t coming back at heavyweight.”
Meanwhile, fans will await the next date and destination on the Emelianenko retirement tour.