MMA Heavyweight legend Fedor Emelianenko turned back the clock in Rosemont, Illinois tonight with a 48 second TKO of former UFC champion Frank Mir at Bellator 198.
“The Last Emperor” ate an early right hand from Mir, but was able to recover and hit a nice throw on his opponent who would fail at an attempted reversal. The two men would both return to their feet where Fedor would greet Mir with a left uppercut that would send him to the canvas face first.
Very reminiscent of his fight with Dan Henderson under the Strikeforce banner — just miles away from Rosemont — back in 2011, Fedor would finish his downed opponent with some more uppercuts under the arm before sealing the deal with a few more strikes.
The win sends Fedor to the semi-finals of Bellator’s Heavyweight Grand Prix where he will meet Chael Sonnen. The victor will earn the opportunity to fight for the vacant Bellator Heavyweight Championship.
This would mark the first time Fedor would emerge victorious on American soil since his Strikeforce debut against Brett Rogers back in 2009. Mir — a notoriously slow starter — has now been finished via KO/TKO nine times in his storied career, seven of which have come in the very first round. Regardless of what comes next, he’ll go down as the greatest submission artist in the history of the division.
Following Fedor’s victory, Chael Sonnen would be brought to the cage by ‘Big’ John McCarthy to cut a promo on his next opponent.
“I think the only thing I hate more than being right here in Chicago is being in this ring with you and I assure you the next time I am, it won’t be for long,” Sonnen told Fedor before the two men engaged in a staredown to set up their upcoming bout.
Next up in the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix Tournament, current Light Heavyweight Champion Ryan Bader takes on King Mo Lawal on May 12th in San Jose to close out the opening round.