Bellator 290 was the setting for Fedor Emelianenko’s swan song, but he fell short in his rematch with Bellator’s heavyweight champion, Ryan Bader.
Emelianenko came out looking to bang, but it didn’t take long for Bader to get his boxing going. First, it was the jousting jabs that opened up the nose of Fedor. Second, the haymakers started finding a home. Ryan ended up dropping Fedor, and then pounced on him with ground and pound. The MMA legend tried to scramble and improve his position, but Bader’s control was too strong, and the ground strikes were unwavering. The referee had no choice but to step in and stop there bout, bringing an end to an incredible era.
After the match, Fedor was met in the cage by fellow legends Royce Gracie, Chuck Liddell, Randy Couture, Dan Henderson, Mark Coleman, Josh Barnett, Matt Hughes, Frank Shamrock, Quinton Jackson, and Renzo Gracie. Chael Sonnen was there, too. Fedor received a proper send off from his peers, and then placed his gloves in the middle of the cage to complete the retirement tradition. Fedor will likely go down as the most dominant heavyweight champion of all time.
Check out our description of Ryan Bader stopping Fedor Emelianenko:
Bader started to score early with his boxing, first with his jab, and then mixing in his hooks. He then dropped Fedor, and followed him down to the canvas in pursuit of the finish. A bloodied Fedor tried to tie up, but the ground and pound from the champion was relentless. The referee warned Fedor to improve his position, but Fedor was stuck, so the fight was stopped. That is all she wrote for Fedor, who now leaves the sport after posting up a legendary record of 40-7.
Ryan Bader def. Fedor Emelianenko by TKO at 2:30 of round 1: Heavyweight Title
HISTORY MADE.— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) February 5, 2023
Ryan Bader defeats Fedor Emelianenko to retain the Heavyweight Title @BellatorMMA pic.twitter.com/yNZJdbATXc
Toda uma era do esporte no cage! #BellatorNoCombate pic.twitter.com/BzPBncn1Bq— Combate (@combate) February 5, 2023
#ThankYouFedor— BellatorMMA (@BellatorMMA) February 5, 2023
#Bellator290 | & + | LIVE NOW pic.twitter.com/OZf9iwNEBk
Fin.— BellatorMMA (@BellatorMMA) February 5, 2023
#Bellator290 | & + | LIVE NOW pic.twitter.com/yZ3DkMOz1D
About the author: Eddie Mercado has covered combat sports since 2015. He covers everything from betting odds to live events and fighter interviews. He holds a 1-0 record in pro MMA and holds a purple belt in Jiu-Jitsu. (full bio)