Inglewood, CA – Buried underneath the Fedor Emelianenko celebration that was Bellator 290 was middleweight champion Johnny Eblen who defended his title against Anatoly Tokov in the co-main event on Saturday night.
Eblen spoke with Cageside Press among other media at his post-fight scrum following the fight.
“It was tough,” Eblen said of the fight. “First round was tough. After that I just did what I wanted to do with him. I started pulling away just like I do with any other fight. He’s the only guy to really beat me the first round because two judges gave him the first round.”
“So hats off to him, but after the second round after I dropped him it was all downhill from there for him.”
Eblen had a few words with Tokov following the decision.
“I think I pointed that out to him (that he’s the first guy to win a round against Eblen). I said all respect, thank you for fighting in the cage with me. He’s a cool dude. Good guy,” said Eblen.
Even with the dominant decision win Eblen was critical of his performance. Well, sort of.
“Yeah I was pretty happy with the performance. I’m very critical of myself so I’m going to watch it back and I’m going to pick at it and see things I could have done better. There’s definitely things I could have done better,” said Eblen.
At one point in the fight Eblen picked Tokov up and slammed him with a suplex that got the entire crowd on their feet.
“The suplex probably could have been better. I’m just playing, that was a pretty good suplex,” he said with a smile.
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Eblen has been quoted before as saying he was the best middleweight in, not only Bellator, but the world. Eblen cleared that up real quick at his post-fight scrum.
“No, no, no. I think I’m the best in the world now. How I’m training, how much I’m getting better exponentially, I think I’m the best in the world,” Eblen said.
“Like, hands down.”
Watch the entire post-fight scrum with Johnny Eblen above.