Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 6/21/12

Fedor Emelianenko beat Pedro Rizzo by first-round TKO in 84 seconds on Thursday in Russia, and then immediately announced his retirement in front of a cheering crowd.

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

Emelianenko made his announcement with his wife and daughters beside him in the ring. The 35-year-old said he was contemplating retirement last year after getting demolished by Big Foot Silva, but this was his fourth fight since then. This also seemed more convincing because it came after a win not a loss; fighters are more prone to be turned off from the sport after being beat up, not after winning.

Fedor is considered by many to be the greatest fighter in MMA history. He went 28 straight fights from 2001-2009 without losing (27 wins and one no contest). He dominated Pride in Japan, beating Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at the top of his game twice, Mark Coleman twice, and Mirko Cro Cop. His legacy became tarnished when he lost three straight Strikeforce fights to Fabricio Werdum, Big Foot Silva, and Dan Henderson from 2010-2011, but many still consider him to be the greatest.

Critics also contend that Fedor didn’t fight the best competition in the world because he never fought in the UFC. While that is true, Emelianenko still put together one of the most impressive resumes ever.

H/T MMA Fighting

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