Sport review 14 oct 2018
\’The Last Emperor\’ was every bit as impressive as you\’d expect on Saturday night
A full seven years after it first appeared Russian MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko might be better served exiting the sport he once dominated, „The Last Emperor” suddenly finds himself one win away from being the next Bellator heavyweight champion.
In a performance that was half sloppy, half devastating and all fun, the 42-year-old Emelianenko (38-5, 1 NC) battered Chael Sonnen in their Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix semifinal bout on Saturday in Uniondale, New York, en route to a first-round TKO.
Emelianenko did well to fight off takedowns and often chose to willingly standup rather than grapple within Sonnen\’s guard. But each time he was able to gain sepration, Emelianenko\’s power was simply too much Sonnen (35-16-1), the 41-year-old former UFC middleweight title challenger, to handle.
„He hurt me early. Everything he did hurt, everything had bad intentions,” Sonnen said. „I was trying to recover and I was drowning out there. I was very impressed. He was very quick and very powerful.
„Those punches hurt. He has some big power. He and [Ryan] Bader is going to be a great fight.”
Emelianenko advanced to the tournament final against Bader, Bellator\’s reigning light heavyweight champion, on Jan. 26 in Los Angeles. Bader (26-5) defeated Matt Mitrione by unanimous decision on Friday to advance and faced off with Emelianenko on Saturday moments after the Bellator 208 main event.
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„[Bader] is a great and very strong fighter,” Emelianenko said. „I did have the opportunity to watch him during the open workouts and I can see that he\’s a very great and very serious opponent.”
Emelianenko opened the fight with a bang as he dropped a charging Sonnen with a two-punch combination and tossed Sonnen to the ground shortly after on a takedown attempt. While Sonnen was eventually successful on a single-leg attempt, Emelianenko quickly reversed to take top position and began to rein down his famous ground and pound.
Sonnen did well to survive the barrage and collect himself despite the chaos around him. At one point, Sonnen scored a double-leg takedown as Emelianenko began to tire and took his back for a choke attempt that ultimately proved unsuccessful.
„I had his chin tucked and I thought I could roll him and go for a rear -aked position but my hips were too high,” Sonnen said.
After the fighters worked back to their feet, Emelianenko dropped Sonnen once more with clean punches. He followed with a wild combination that landed flush as Sonnen laid on his back. The impact caused Sonnen to cover up in pain and stop defending himself, which forced referee Dan Miragliotta to stop the fight at 4:46 of Round 1 as Emelianenko landed a flurry of hammer punches.
„Chael works very, very hard and it shows that he prepared very well,” Emelianenko said. „Thanks God I\’m not tired and still can do working.”
Bellator 208 fight card, results
Fedor Emelianenko def. Chael Sonnen via first-round TKO (strikes)
Benson Henderson def. Saad Awad via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
Cheick Kongo def. Timothy Johnson via first-round TKO (strikes)
Anatoly Tokov def. Alexander Shlemenko via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Henry Corrales def. Andy Main via third-round KO (punch)
Sergei Kharitonov def. Roy Nelson at Bellator 207
Sergei Kharitonov earned one of the more notable victories of his career on Friday, when he defeated Roy Nelson in the Bellator 207 co-headliner.
Kharitonov (28-6 MMA, 2-1 BMMA) picked up a key victory in the heavyweight division when he scored a first-round knockout victory over Nelson (23-16 MMA, 1-2 BMMA) in the Paramount-televised contest at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. The Russian has now alternated wins and losses throughout his Bellator tenure.
Check below for the top Twitter reactions to Kharitonov’s victory over Nelson at Bellator 207.
Sergei Kharitonovdef. Roy Nelson
knockout (knee) – Round 1, 4:59
Lorenz Larkindef. Ion Pascu
unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) – Round 3, 5:00
Corey Browningdef. Kevin Ferguson Jr.
TKO (punches) – Round 2, 2:08
Mandel Nallodef. Carrington Banks
knockout (knee) – Round 2, 0:07
Kemran Lachinovdef. Sean Lally
unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27) – Round 3, 5:00
Vinicius de Jesusdef. Tim Caron
unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) – Round 3, 5:00
Janay Hardingdef. Sinead Kavanagh
TKO (doctor\’s stoppage) – Round 1, 5:00
Andre Fialhodef. Javier Torres
majority decision (28-28, 29-28, 29-28) – Round 3, 5:00
Sarah Clickdef. Kristi Lopez
unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) – Round 3, 5:00
Mike Kimbeldef. Alex Potts
knockout (punches) – Round 1, 0:06
Alexandra Balloudef. Lisa Blaine
TKO (elbows) – Round 3, 3:28
Pat Caseydef. Kastriot Xhema
unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26) – Round 3, 5:00
Khabib Nurmagomedov On 50 Cent\’s $2 Million Offer To Fight For Bellator; \’Just Send Me Location\’
With the UFC mulling over the release of two of his teammates, UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov gave the promotion an ultimatum; if his friends and teammates are let go, he too will walk away from the promotion. If the UFC keeps its word and Nurmagomedov does as well, the fighter will have a home – and a lucrative payday – for at least one fight, in Bellator, according to 50 Cent.
The hip-hop mogul, who has been working with Bellator, made Nurmagomedov a $2 million offer to fight with the rival promotion via social media.
Nurmagomedov and his teammates were involved in a brawl following Nurmagomedov’s win over Conor McGregor at UFC 229, which took place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. At the post-fight press conference, UFC President Dana White said the two men who were allegedly involved in the fracas, Islam Makhachev and Zubaira Tukhugov, would not fight for the promotion again. Tukhugov is scheduled to face McGregor’s teammate, Artem Lobov in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 138 later this month. That fight remains on the card, according to the UFC’s official website.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission is currently holding Nurmagomedov\’s fight purse of $2 million pending an investigation into the post-fight melee. McGregor, who was paid, is also being looked at during that probe. Both fighters were suspended for 10 days pending a hearing before the NSAC. The fighters could face fines and further suspensions at that hearing.
Nurmagomedov answered 50 Cent with what is quickly becoming his catchphrase.
„Just send me location,” wrote Nurmagomedov before also inviting 50 Cent to visit him in Dagestan.