May 18, 2012 - "The Last Emperor" is nearing his last days.
Fedor Emelianenko, the Russian heavyweight who UFC president Dana White acknowledges as the only major name that he's never been able to sign, says he will call it quits following his June 21 fight against Pedro Rizzo.
He made the statement in an interview on Russian language television.
Russian MMA journalist Artem Yalanskiy provided MMA Fighting with a translation of the key exchange of the interview.
"My previous fight was in Moscow and my last fight will be in St. Petersburg on June 21st," Emelianenko says. "It will be the last fight in my career."
"Is this your final decision?" the interviewer asks.
"Yes," Emelianenko says, "I think it's time to end my career.
Emelianenko said the primary reason for his retirement is to spend more time with his family, but he also mentioned the mounting toll of injuries from a career spent in MMA and sambo.