Legendary heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko showed a glimpse of just why he is considered the greatest heavyweight of all time with a first-round knockout of Frank Mir on Saturday night.
‘The Last Emperor’ had a five-win streak snapped in brutal fashion last time out by Matt Mitrione, but the 41-year-old proved his striking game is still a force to be reckoned with by finishing former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir with a barrage of punches at Bellator 198.
In a week in which he had allegedly been shadowed by the FBI during his visit to US, the decorated Russian showed no signs of being distracted in his 48-second stoppage of the 38-year-old Mir.
— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) April 29, 2018
The two men came out guns blazing in the main event of the evening at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois, trading takedowns in the early going before going hell for leather in the centre of the cage. With Fedor seemingly stunned, Mir smelled blood, coming forward with a flurry of punches that looked to have rocked his opponent.
However, the Nevadan left himself open in his aggressiveness, leading to ‘The Last Emperor’ being able to recompose himself, back up and land a huge uppercut directly to Mir’s chin that dropped the Nevadan face first to the canvas. Fedor followed up with a vicious onslaught of punches, leading referee Mike Beltran to wave the contest off within a minute.
The victory advances the legendary fighter to the semifinals of Bellator’s heavyweight grand prix, where he will face Chael Sonnen, who won his last-eight matchup with Rampage Jackson back in January. Sonnen was ushered into the cage post-fight, where the UFC veteran delivered a typically charismatic promo in which he vowed to make short work of Fedor when the pair meet later in the year.
Elsewhere, the Bellator 198 main card proved to be a submission-a-thon, with Dillon Danis, Neiman Gracie, Rafael Lovato Jr and Emmanuel Sanchez all picking up wins via a variety of impressive holds.