One of the greatest MMA fighters of all-time showed he still has something left in the tank.
In the main event of Bellator 269, the iconic heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko (40-6, 1 NC) pieced up Tim Johnson (15-8) with a straight right, left hook, and right hand combination to knock out the former UFC fighter and recent Bellator interim title challenger inside of two minutes.
The 45-year-old hadn’t competed in his home country since a controversial and near disastrous showing against Fabio Maldonado, and he hadn’t competed at all since December 2019 against Quinton Jackson. He certainly didn’t look rusty and took advantage of Johnson’s looping strikes and tendency to leave himself wide open on the counter with his wide swinging. Fedor looked like the faster fighter and he showed he still packs a punch, and Johnson was gone when he got three-pieced.
‘The Last Emperor’ is 8-2 in his last 10 fights, and this one must feel extra sweet to deliver a specatcular finish at home.
Said Sowma def. Vitaly Minakov by TKO (broken finger) at 3:08 of round 3 - Heavyweights
The former champion Minakov looked so much bigger than Sowma, and his powerful right hand was on full display in the opening round. Sowma was tagged multiple times and was hurt at least once as a result of Virtaly closing the distance and lighting him up.
Multiple low kicks by Sowma early in round two had Minakov feeling uncomfortable. His lower left calf instantly had welts on it. All things considered Sowma had the more effective offense and seemed to have evened things entering the final frame.
In an absolutely crazy sqeuence, Minakov missed on a right hand (or rather, hit his hand on Sowma’s arm) and it affected Vitaly’s finger. He looked to have duslocated it, then tried to adjust it mid-fight and the referee stopped it because Minakov pretty much was focused on getting his finger back into place above all else. Sowma might have been in position to win the fight anyway but this was an anticlimactic ending to an upset win for Said.
Usman Nurmagomedov def. Patrik Pietila by submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:06 of round 1 - 160 lbs catchweight
Pietila seemed to be immediately bothered by a calf kick and took a couple of awkward steps. Nurmagomedov took Pietila down inside of a minute and went to work from there. Some short ground-and-pound, advance to mount, take the back, get the rear-naked choke and end this obvious mismatch. The cousin of Khabib Nurmagomedov remains undefeated in his MMA career and is one to watch as a future contender at lightweight.
Anatoly Tokov def. Sharaf Davlatmurodov via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28) - Middleweights
There wasn’t much to talk about in the opening round. Davlatmurodov caught a kick and landed a short right that resulted in a “knockdown” of sorts but it was more of Tokov being off balance. Tokov landed an overhand right that hurt Davlatmurodov and forced him to go for underhooks and try and take the fight to the ground, to no avail. Tokov did suffer a cut underneath his right eye but it didn’t prove to be very bothersome.
Tokov outclassed Davlatmurodov really throughout this fight. He was accurate with his right hand, the jab, outside leg kicks, and he got a couple of takedowns. Tokov mounted Davlatmurodov late in the final round but lost position and Davlatmurodov wound up just about returning the favor by ending the bout in back mount. Unfortunately for him he needed way more than just a dominant position to win the round, let alone the fight. We will ignore that insane 29-28 Davlatmurodov scorecard.
Preliminary Card results
Kirill Sidelnikov def. Rab Truesdale via TKO (strikes) at 2:01 of round 1
Baby Fedor with the domination.— BellatorMMA (@BellatorMMA) October 23, 2021
What a way to close out the #Bellator269 @MonsterEnergy Prelims, fueled by @ampm, with an emphatic TKO from the Fedor Team protégé.
Catch the #Bellator 269 main card LIVE next on @SHOSports at 3pm EST/12pm PST. pic.twitter.com/Hxdom6cuoS
Katarzyna Sadura def. Darina Mazdyuk via TKO (punches) at 3:17 of round 1
Irina Alekseeva def. Stephanie Page via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Nikita Mikhailov def. Brian Moore via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Alexey Shurkevich def. Grachik Bozinyan via KO (punches) at 2:25 of round 1
When leg locks go horribly wrong!— BellatorMMA (@BellatorMMA) October 23, 2021
An incredible KO from Alexey Shurkevich to send the VTB Arena into a frenzy!
The #Bellator269 @MonsterEnergy Prelims, fueled by @ampm, continue LIVE NOW on the #Bellator App.⬇️
Aiden Lee def. Alexander Osetrov via submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:41 of round 1
A big victory for @AidenLeeMMA to open #Bellator269 live from Moscow.— BellatorMMA (@BellatorMMA) October 23, 2021
The Brit returns to his winning ways with a well-worked RNC.
Catch the rest of the @MonsterEnergy Prelims, fueled by @ampm, LIVE via The Bellator App now!