Fedor retires in style (VIDEO, PHOTO)
It was meant to be a three five-minute rounds affair but Emelianenko's right hook sent the Brazilian to the floor already in the opener. The ensuing devastating knocks on the ground prompted the referee to stop the clock at one minute and twenty two seconds, declaring Fedor’s victory.
Moments later the sell-out crowd stood at their feet shouting: “Fedor! Don’t go! It’s too early!”
After the winner was officially announced, Russian President Vladimir Putin got up to the stage to say a few words.
“I want to congratulate Fedor and thank him from all of us, martial arts fans,” Putin said. “It is because of him this sport became so popular in our country.”
The June 21 event was held in conjunction with M-1 Global at the Ice Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia. The 35-year-old legend, holding an MMA record of 35 wins and 4 losses, had earlier announced that the fight with Rizzo would be the final one before his retirement.
"My family influenced my decision. My daughters are growing without me, that's why it's time to leave," Fedor said.
Speaking about a possible rematch against Brazilian fighter Fabricio Werdum, who defeated Fedor by submission back in June 2010 ending the Last Emperor's decade-long winning streak, Emelianenko said that there is no agreement on such a match.
Fedor Emelianenko during the last fight in his career against Brazilian Pedro Rizzo in the M-1 Global "White Nights" tournament in St. Petersburg. (RIA Novosti/Vadim Zhernov)
RIA Novosti/Aleksey Nikolskyi
Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) shakes hands with heavyweight mixed martial art fighter Fedor Emelianenko during his visit to St.Petersburg June 21, 2012. (Reuters/Alexei Nikolsky/RIA Novosti/Kremlin)