Bellator 290 Results: Fedor Retires After KO Loss To Bader



Bellator 290 Results: Fedor Retires After KO Loss To Bader

On Saturday Night from The Forum in Inglewood, California, Bellator was looking to celebrate the career of one of the greats of Mixed Martial Arts and put a bow on the end of an MMA era. “The Last Emperor” Fedor Emelianenko from Stary Oskol, Russia (40-7, 1NC), who at one point was the most feared man in the sport, took on Bellator heavyweight champion Ryan Bader from Tempe, Arizona (31-7) for the second time. And for the second time, Bader stopped out the formerly ultra fearsome warrior, who declared after the loss that his fighting career is finished.

Bader won their first meeting in January 2019, and this matchup was much of the same as Bader landed a right hand early on that sent an unsteady Emelianenko to the canvas and bloodied his nose. Fedor, who turns 47 in September, clearly wasn’t the same fighter he was in his prime as Bader easily passed Fedor’s once impassible guard and landed big hammer-fists and punches. Herb Dean mercifully stopped the fight at 2:30 into the first round.

“It was bittersweet, I idolized him,” said the 39 year old Bader, who with the win improves to (31-7).

On the other hand, it was the last fight of an incredible career for Fedor. From April 2001 until June 2010, Fedor was undefeated for 28 straight fights (1 No-Contest), including wins over former UFC Heavyweight Champions Tim Sylvia, Andrei Arlovski, Mark Coleman, and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.“I’m going to dedicate my time to coaching and my team,” Fedor said through his translator after the fight.

In the co-main under the Fedor main event, Bellator middleweight champion Johnny Eblen (13-0) took on Team Fedor member Anatoly Tokov (31-3). Eblen was making the first defense of his championship that he won from Gegard Mousasi in June 2022, while Tokov was making his ninth start inside the Bellator cage.

The action didn’t pick up until the second round of the fight, where Eblen consistently took Tokov’s back with a body lock and dragged him to the mat. Eblen couldn’t maintain much control on the ground as Tokov would quickly work his way back up in the second round. The last three rounds were much of the same as Eblen maintained dominant grappling positions both on the ground and against the cage.

The highlight of the fight came in the fifth and final round, where Eblen procured another body lock from the back and landed a big German Suplex to put an exclamation point on an otherwise uneventful fight which preceded the Fedor career capper. The scores of the Fedor undercard scrap were 50-45 and 49-46 x 2, all for the winner and still Bellator Middleweight Champion Johnny Eblen.

Kicking off the CBS portion of the card was Brennan “Irish” Ward of Waterford, Connecticut (17-6) vs. Sabah “The Sleek Sheik” Homasi (17-11). Round one started at a breakneck pace, with both men exchanging heavy strikes. Ward emerged the worse for wear early on with a cut under his left eye.

Round two started with both men taunting each other in the middle of the cage before the round began. Ward came out pushing Homasi back with punches early in the round and dropped him against the cage, leaving him with a nasty cut. After a short period of grappling against the cage, Ward landed a right kick to the head as Homasi backed up. Ward landed some vicious ground and pound to get the stoppage at 1:34 of the second round.

With the win, Ward improved his record to 17-6. After the fight before the Fedor finale Ward said he wants a title shot, and if that doesn’t come, he’d like to fight Dalton “Hercules” Rosta.