Ryan Bader TKO's Fedor Emelianenko early in rematch to defend heavyweight title at Bellator 290

Ryan Bader TKO’s Fedor Emelianenko early in rematch to defend heavyweight title at Bellator 290

Bellator MMA returns to us tonight, February 4, 2023, for Bellator 290, going down live from the Kia Forum in Inglewood, California.

Headlining the event is a world championship rematch between Bellator heavyweight champion Ryan Bader (30-7) and no. 3 ranked former PRIDE heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko (40-6) in what is to be the Russian legend’s last fight.

Co-headlining the event was also a title fight, this one came at 185 lbs between Bellator middleweight champion Johnny Eblen (12-0) and no. 3 ranked former ACB middleweight champion Anatoly Tokov (31-2).

Reverting back to our main event of the evening:

Bader had gone undefeated through his prior six fights in the heavyweight division, though he’d gone 3-2 in his last five, going 1-2 in a short return to light-heavyweight. He then returned to the heavyweight division, where he defended his belt in back-to-back outings last year in 2022.

Emelianenko on the other hand had gone 4-2 over his last six, all six bouts ending via first round knockout.

Continue reading to see how this heavyweight championship main event rematch went down:

Official Result: Ryan Bader def. Fedor Emelianenko via TKO (punches) at 2:30 of round one

Bader ends up dropping Emelianenko with a short punch about one minute in and jumps into his guard before reigning down some vicious punches and elbows from top position.

Emelianenko is trying to wrap an arm up but doesn’t attempt to shift his hips in order to try and secure an armbar. Bader wisely gets his arms out each time and ends up passing to Emelianenko’s half guard, where he ends the fight shortly thereafter with his thunderous ground and pound midway through the opening round.

Fedor Emelianenko was 3-0 in rematches coming into tonight’s main event but falls hard in the final bout of his legendary career.

Ryan Bader on the other hand was 4-0 in rematches coming in and improves that to 5-0 tonight as he makes the third defense of his Bellator heavyweight championship, going 2-0 with two first round knockouts against perhaps the greatest fighter to ever walk the planet.

Thank you Fedor Emelianenko for your incredible and unparalleled career, it was incredibly fun to watch.

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Brady Ordway
I became a fan of combat sports when I was 12 years old. I was scrolling through the channels and landed upon Versus, where WEC was televised. Urijah Faber fought Jens Pulver for the second time that night. That's the first fight I ever saw, and I was immediately hooked. So eventually, I began covering the sport in the fourth quarter of 2018, and have since started writing about animals as well. If you'd like to see those pieces, be sure to check out learnaboutnature.com!