Known as “Baby Fedor,” Kirill Sidelnikov returned to action for the first time in two years alongside mentor Fedor Emelianenko at Bellator 269.
The heavyweight, a Team Fedor fighter, is 33, and certainly no longer a “baby,” but he reminded fight fans why he was considered a blue chip prospect in the weight class in Moscow on Saturday. Sidelnikov found the finish within a round, using elbows to put away Rab Truesdale.
After the fight, he told Cageside Press what it meant to share the card with his mentor.
“When you’re fighting on the same card with Fedor, it’s a different kind of responsibility,” Sidelnikov (13-6) stated. “You can’t just lose, because you’re fighting along with your friend on Team Fedor, and you feel the honor of that. You need to defend the honor of Team Fedor, you need to defend the honor of your friend, and we’re good buddies, so yeah that was important.”
That sort of motivation seems to have worked for Sidelnikov, who won his second straight fight with the TKO of Truesdale. Now, the hope is that the Russian heavyweight can compete more frequently. Of late, visa issues have hampered that.
“I do not have a name in mind, but I’m certainly ready for the future fights, I’m certainly ready for anything else Bellator can throw at me,” Sidelnikov told Cageside Press. “Hopefully the situation with the visa is going to be resolved soon. I believe it’s going to be resolved soon. So we’ll see.”
Watch the full Bellator 269 virtual post-fight press conference with Kirill Sidelnikov above. More coverage from the event can be found below.