Up to the point of the co-main event, Bellator NYC, the promotion’s second Pay-per-View and debut at New York’s Madison Square Garden, had been a crazy and unpredictable affair. Rookie Aaron Pico suffered a shock upset loss in his debut. Lightweight champ and face of the company Michael Chandler suffered an ankle injury, resulting in a TKO loss to challenger Brent Primus, who agreed to a rematch.
Only Douglas Lima vs. Lorenz Larkin seemed to go according to plan in the end. That, and the successful debut of Heather Hardy.
All that craziness brought us to the mythical Fedor Emelianenko, better known as the heavyweight GOAT (greatest of all time). Long removed from his heyday, the Russian legend had a tough test against Matt Mitrione. How would he look in his first U.S. fight since before his brief retirement?
Fedor (who entered the night 36–4 (1)) came out, and the atmosphere was electric. Mittrione was light on his feet, bouncing around early, while the Russian stayed calm. He opened with a leg kick. A double knockdown followed! Just when you thought the night couldn’t get any crazier. Mitrione recovered first, and was able to swarm and add more strikes while the legend was helpless to defend himself.
With that Matt Mitrione makes his mark in MMA history, in yet another unexpected and bizarre finish for Bellator NYC!
Afterwards, Mitrione took a moment to remember Tim Hague, and called for fans to donate in support of his child.
Matt Mitrione def. Fedor Emelianenko by TKO, Round 1, 1:14