Alexander Emelianenko has announced his retirement from professional MMA in a post on his web site and his Facebook page. Here's what Alex had to say for himself (translation via RT.com):
"Unfortunately, I won't be able to perform in the ring anymore because of health problems caused by old injuries. As an athlete, it's very difficult for me to come to terms with this.
"I'm grateful to the fans and sponsors for their support and for believing in me. I'm also grateful to my opponents. Your ill-will always made me move forward and achieve new results.
"I understand that I'll now be facing a lot of accusations and criticism, which are unrelated to my direct line of work. Unfortunately, there'll always be people, who would want to score points for themselves in any negative situation. I wouldn't like make any comments, explain anything or offer excuses. Every living person does good and bad things. This is what we are. I'm sure that I've made a lot for the sport, attracting many young people in the gyms by my example."
Alexander is the younger brother of MMA immortal Fedor Emelianenko, MMA Fighting has a nice summary of the younger Emelianenko's 9-year, 27-fight pro MMA career:
During his heyday, Emelianenko faced some of the sport's top heavyweights, includingMirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic, Josh Barnett and Fabricio Werdum. His most significant win came in a 2006 TKO win over Sergei Kharitonov, though he's more fondly remembered for an 11-second knockout of James "The Colossus" Thompson.
Emelianenko was known for quick fights, as he once authored a eight-fight win streak entirely composed of first-round finishes. At another time, he had three straight knockouts of less than 30 seconds apiece.
Emelianenko's former management/promoter M1 Global's Vadim Finkelstein told Mixfight.ru (via MMA Opinion) their side of the story:
Alexander constantly violated the terms of contact, we canceled. Now he is a free fighter, he has his own way. Neither I nor any Fedor M-1 is not responsible for his actions.
RT.com has more on the incident that allegedly was the last straw for M1:
Gazeta.ru claims the firing followed Emelianenko's drunken row in Barnaul in the Altai Region.
The heavyweight fighter quarreled with flight attendants and passengers on a flight to the tournament in the Altai Region.
He then broke the nose of an airport employee and started a brawl in the hotel restaurant where a wedding was taking place.
Emelianenko has also long been rumored to be struggling with a health condition that prevented his fighting in the U.S. The California State Athletic Commission refused to license him to fight for Affliction in 2008 but never revealed the exact reason.
Regardless of the actual facts of the situation, we at Bloody Elbow thank Alexander for his many stirring performances in the ring and wish him the best in his future endeavors.