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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
The long and illustrious career of Fedor Emelianenko may be at its end following a second round TKO loss to Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva on Saturday in New Jersey.
"The Last Emperor" failed to hurt Silva in the first round of their Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix quarterfinal bout on Showtime, and in the second took one of the worst beatings of his eleven year career. Silva took him down immediately, and it didn't take long before he passed to mount. Silva began landing some vicious strikes while postured up in the mount, and alternated between the beating and looking for submissions with Fedor giving up his back.
The sustained beating came to a halt when "Bigfoot" went for an arm triangle submission. He locked it on and passed to side control, and nearly finished the fight with the hold, but the ever-resilient Emelianenko somehow found a way to escape. Then, after Silva attempted a kneebar submission, Fedor grabbed his ankle and nearly wrenched an ankle lock submission.
The thrilling round finally came to an end with Silva wagging his finger at Emelianenko, letting him know the hold wasn't on tight. As Emelianenko was checked on by the doctor's in his corner, it was recognized that his right eye had been swollen shut from the beating he sustained in the round, and the fight was called off.
Following his second consecutive loss, and most definitive beating of his career, Emelianenko told the crowd at the IZOD Center that this may be the last time he is seen in the cage. Telling the crowd "maybe it's time to leave," Fedor further pushed that stance when asked if it was his last fight.
"Maybe it's the last time in the cage," he said. "Maybe it's high time. [I've] had a beautiful sporting life, maybe it's God's will."
He then thanked all of his fans and supporters for their love and support, and walked out of the cage.
Silva now awaits the winner of the bout between Fabricio Werdum and Alistair Overeem on April 9.
Penick's Analysis: If this is the end of Fedor's career, he went out with class and held himself as he always has. He took one hell of a beating, and his right eye was in bad shape. There's an argument to let him out there in the third round because, well, he's Fedor, but Bigfoot was well ahead and would have likely finished that beating in the third with Fedor being unable to see. That was the greatest performance of Bigfoot's career, and it came in the biggest fight of his career. As he said heading in, "to be a legend, you have to beat a legend," and though he's not at legendary status just yet, he accomplished his goal. He'll have a hell of a task against Overeem or Werdum (who has already beaten him), but for now he can revel in this win. Strikeforce's Heavyweight Grand Prix has gotten off to an unexpected start, but it provided one amazing fight and another brutal finish in the first round, and they can only hope that April 9 delivers the same.
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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