Host of "The MMA Hour" and mixed martial arts journalist of the year Ariel Helwani sat down and had a chat with Fedor Emelianenko and his translator this past Monday.
They covered many topics throughout the interview from an Anderson Silva/Steven Seagal versus Fedor Emelianenko/Jean-Claude Van Damme tag team match to Fedor's special sweater. One interesting topic that was broached was the idea of retirement and how far off it is for Fedor.
When asked about whether or not the loss to Fabricio Werdum caused Fedor to reflect more seriously on retirement he had the following to say: "To tell the truth, I was thinking and I am thinking about retiring, but not because of the loss. I used to think about that [retirement] before it [the loss], this is just because of the age because [at heavyweight] my age is considered [old].Sometimes I am thinking about maybe finishing my sports career because my injuries remind me about it [my age]... but, I hope that I still will have some time to fight."
Ariel went on to ask Fedor how much longer he expected to keep fighting and his answer was, "Well I think maybe about a year and after that it's god's will."
Ariel pushed it further by asking if he is looking at it as one year at a time or if he really only has one year left and Fedor answered, "My contract which was signed [with Strikeforce] it was signed for a year maybe a little bit more, but to tell the truth definitely I rely on God's will and I don't make any plans because everything is in God's hands."
Listening to what Fedor had to say on possible retirement really puts some important thoughts and ideas into the forefront.
First off, Fedor's appearance in the Strikeforce tournament maybe the last fans get to see of the man who also goes by the name "The Last Emperor." It sounds hard to believe, but it is a real possibility that Fedor may retire one or two fights after the tournament ends or even before that.
A Fedor retirement within the next year would most certainly leave some burning questions and issues in the minds of many MMA fans and media around the world.
How would have Fedor fared against the UFC heavyweights? It is something fans have been wanting to see ever since Pride was bought out and folded by the UFC back in October 2007. If Fedor retires within the next year, fans will never have the opportunity to see Fedor in the octagon, they will only be able to speculate.
That being said, should Fedor win the heavyweight tournament, beating guys like Fabricio Werdum, Alistair Overeem and Josh Barnett, it is safe to say that he would probably fare well in the UFC. Winning the tournament is a strong possibility for Fedor, but he won't have the Strikeforce heavyweight title.
In the Strikeforce heayweight tournament, Alistair Overeem's title isn't on the line. The winner of the tournament earns the No. 1 contender spot. What if Fedor wins the tournament and decides to retire?
Strikeforce certainly wouldn't be happy with that as they would lose their No. 1 contender and would be forced to put Alistair Overeem up against a loser in the tournament or put the belt on the shelf for even longer as they wait for the contenders to sort themselves out.
There is no doubting the fact that Fedor is getting on in age. A 34-year-old fighter with over 30 professional fights to his name definitely has a lot of mileage on his body, and this is the case for Fedor Emelianenko no matter how invincible he may seem.
That being said, hopefully "God" sees Fedor as a fighter for longer than a year and that fans have the chance to see him fight for the Strikeforce belt and maybe even for a UFC belt if the stars and planets align correctly.
Leon Horne has been contributing to Bleacher Report for two years now. He focuses mainly on mixed martial arts, but he has also written about tennis, football and hockey. Just send him a message if you want to talk sports or discuss any opportunities. You can follow him on Twitter for updates:
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