Photo: Esther Lin / Showtime Sports
Fedor Emelianenko will be taking on Pedro Rizzo next week (June 21) in a bout originally stated to be his retirement bout from the sport before Fedor denied that he would step away following the event. Although, it should be noted that Fedor never actually said he wasn't retiring, but rather that he hadn't yet made a decision.
In any event, Rizzo's coach, the legendary Marco Ruas, is not focusing on Fedor's future, but rather on getting Pedro ready to try to pull off the upset. in a recent interview with Tatame, Rua made it clear that they have to have the right mentality to win:
"He can't stay still in front of the guy because he's dangerous and explosive. He's gotta go for it and get the knockout", explains the coach. "He can't have a boring fight, he must believe his potential and run through that guy. He can't keep thinking ‘oh, it's Fedor, it's Fedor'. Fedor my ass. Go there and knock him out. It's kill or die, he must go for it".
It's a little bit sad to think that Fedor's last fight could possibly be next week. He's a legend and one of the best fighters the sport has ever known. The fact that he may wrap it up on a show almost no one will see doesn't feel "right" even with his failures at the end of his Strikeforce run.
Who knows? Maybe Fedor goes out and runs through Rizzo and feel so good in doing so that he continues on for a bit. But without Zuffa backing, it's going to be really hard for him to have many meaningful fights before whatever point he does decide to step away.