For one night only in Moscow, Russia, “The Last Emperor” Fedor Emelianenko turned back the clock.
As he so often did in his prime, Fedor gave up a considerable size advantage to Bellator 269 opponent Tim Johnson, a recent Bellator MMA title challenger. As was often the case back then, it didn’t matter in the end. After avoiding some of Johnson’s early attacks, Fedor connected with a lightning-quick punch that left the American looking up at the rafters at the VTB Arena, seeing stars.
Many were quick to criticize the pairing of Fedor with Johnson ahead of Bellator 269. Johnson lacked the name value of Junior Dos Santos and Alistair Overeem, two heavyweight free agents. Josh Barnett, who had been expected to fight for Bellator two years ago, was in the running. But Fedor hand-picked Johnson, and perhaps for good reason: Johnson had, until a fight with Team Fedor fighter Valentin Moldavsky, been on a three-fight win streak. His was still ranked high up in Bellator’s heavyweight division.
While other names might tug at the nostalgia factor, the fight with Johnson was at least relevant. Of course, where Fedor goes after the win remains to be seen, but with one fight left on his current contract, it seems Emelianenko isn’t ready to call it a career just yet.
Full results and a gallery of highlights from Bellator 269 can be found below!
Bellator 269: Fedor vs. Johnson Results
Fedor Emelianenko def. Timothy Johnson by knockout, Round 1, 1:46
Said Sowma def. Vitaly Minakov by TKO (injury), Round 3, 3:08
Usman Nurmagomedov def. Patrik Pietilä by submission (rear-naked choke), Round 1, 4:06
Anatoly Tokov def. Sharaf Davlatmurodov by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Kirill Sidelnikov def. Rab Truesdale by TKO, Round 1, 2:01
Katarzyna Sadura def. Darina Mazdyuk by TKO, Round 2, 3:17
Irina Alekseeva def. Stephanie Ielö Page by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Nikita Mikhailov def. Brian Moore by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Alexey Shurkevich def. Grachik Bozinyan by KO, Round 1, 2:25
Aiden Lee def. Alexander Osetrov by submission (rear-naked choke), Round 1, 3:41