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INGLEWOOD, Calif.—Father Time indeed remains undefeated, as 46-year-old MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko was handed a very unceremonious ending to a stellar career.
Competing for the final time, Emelianenko was knocked down and battered in the main event of Saturday's Bellator 290 by reigning heavyweight champion Ryan Bader, with referee Herb Dean halting the contest at the 2:30 mark of the opening round. The event marked Bellator's debut on network television, airing live on CBS from the Kia Forum.
Emelianenko did his best to wing heavy right hands from the opening bell, but Bader's jab was on point and found its target on several occasions. A clean right then sent Emelianenko toppling to the canvas, and Bader followed to the floor. Emelianenko did his best to tie up his opponent's arms and slow down the attacks. However, Bader was able to repeatedly land big punches and hammerfists, forcing Emelianenko to turtle and for Dean to call off the fight in the opening round.
Following the result, Emelianenko (40-7 MMA, 4-3 BMMA) laid his gloves down in the cage and confirmed he will now turn his attention to coaching the next generation of Russian MMA superstars. Meanwhile, Bader (31-7 MMA, 9-2 BMMA) paid his respect to his opponent with his post-fight comments.
"That guy's a legend right there, and I'm so glad I could be part of his story," Bader said.
Bellator 290 results include:
Main Card (CBS)
- Champ Ryan Bader def. Fedor Emelianenko via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 2:30– to defend heavyweight title
- Champ Johnny Eblen def. Anatoly Tokov via unanimous decision (50-45, 49-46, 49-46) – to defend middleweight title
- Brennan Ward def. Sabah Homasi via TKO (high kick, punches) – Round 2, 1:34
Prelimary Card (YouTube)
- Lorenz Larkin def. Mukhamed Berkhamov via knockout (elbow) – Round 1, 1:41
- Henry Corrales def. Akhmed Magomedov via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Ali Isaev vs. Steve Mowry declared a draw (28-28, 28-28, 28-28)
- Chris Gonzalez def. Max Rohskopf via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 1:22
- Grant Neal def. Karl Albrektsson via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
- Diana Avsaragova def. Alejandra Lara via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Nikita Mikhailov def. Darrion Caldwell via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)