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Fedor Emelianenko retirement ends fading UFC talk

ESPN staff
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Fedor Emelianenko suffered three consecutive losses in Strikeforce © Getty Images
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Any lingering ideas of a Fedor Emelianenko appearance in the UFC have seemingly finally reached an end after the Russian announced his retirement on Thursday.

According to multiple Russian news sources Emelianenko stated his decision to spend more time with his family after he defeated Pedro Rizzo. The win came via knockout, but it looks like being the last of the 35-year-old's career.

"I think it is time I quit," Emelianenko said, according to Ria Novosti. "My family influenced my decision. My daughters are growing without me, that's why it's time to leave."

Emelianenko has long been discussed in connection with the UFC, but has never taken the step to fight for the world's top promotion. Boasting a 34-4 record with one no-contest, he goes down as one of the sport's most successful heavyweights, but ultimately his failure to fight the world's best prevents the option of labelling him the greatest.

At his best, the likes of Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Mirko Cro Cop were both beaten, and Emelianenko established a 28-fight unbeaten record.

However, several advances from the UFC were repelled as Emelianenko's management team failed to match him with the world's best, and when he moved to Strikeforce he quickly found the level a step too far, losing three on the bounce to Fabricio Werdum, Antonio Silva and Dan Henderson.

Still the Russian, on occasions, has found himself linked to the UFC, but Thursday's retirement seemingly ends speculation for good.

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