Fedor Emelainenko scored a walk-off stoppage win in his return fight on Saturday, stopping Timothy Johnson in the first-round with a series of hooks. Emelanenko’s win came in front of his home country at the VTB Arena in Moscow, Russia.
The bout headlined Bellator 269 on Saturday night.
Emelianenko dropped Johnson with a strong three-punch combination. Entering with a right cross, Emelianenko then scored with a left and right hook that floored Johnson and caused the referee to end the fight.
Emelianenko had the quicker striking in the short bout, getting the best of every exchange.
Emelianenko, a veteran of Pride FC and Strikeforce, was competing for the first time since 2019. His previous fight saw him defeat veteran Rampage Jackson, stopping him within a round in Japan.
The 45-year-old Russian veteran, who is regarded as one of the greatest heavyweights of all time, was fighting in his home country of Russia for the first time since 2016.
Johnson was competing just months after losing a fight for the interim Bellator Heavyweight Championship, dropping a unanimous decision to Valentin Moldavsky in June.
Injury Takes Minakov Out Late, Hands Sowma Big Win
A sudden finger injury to Vitaly Minakov took him out of action in the third round, handing former Titan FC Heavyweight Champion Said Sowma an upset win in the co-main event.
The pace of the fight came to a sudden stop in the third round as Minakov had clearly hurt one of the fingers on his right hand. After insepction by a referee, the call was made to end the bout.
Sowma and Minakov were in a close stand-up battle before the finish.
Minakov hurt Sowma with punches in the first round, connecting clean with shots that stumbled him.
Sowma found his groove later in the battle, using leg kicks to hurt Minakov while refining his punches as well.
Minakov had only lost once before in his 23-fight career. His most recent bout before Saturday was in 2019, defeating Timothy Johnson.
Sowma scored his first Bellator win in his previous bout, defeating Ronny Markes in just over a minute.
Nurmagomedov Extends Undefeated Record With Early Submission
Usman Nurmagomedov continued his undefeated run in dominant fashion Saturday, stopping Patrik Pietila in the first round with a rear naked choke.
Nurmagomedov secured a takedown early in the fight, allowing him to take the back of Pietila and eventually finish the fight via submission.
Nurmagomedov was a heavy favorite heading into the fight, with some gambling sites listing him as a -2000 to win.
Nurmagomedov is now undefeated through 14 pro bouts. Three of his wins have come in the Bellator cage since he made his promotional debut in April.
Pietila was making his return to Bellator. His previous fight was in 2019, losing to Ryan Roddy.
Tokov Extends Winning Streak In Return
Anatoly Tokov had a successful return to action to open the main card, picking up a split decision victory over Sharaf Davlatmurodov.
Tokov’s striking earned him the win, out-landing his opponent. Davlatmurodov struggled with fatigue late in the fight, allowing Tokov to pull ahead even more late.
A large amount of the fight took place in stand-up positions, although Tokov was able to earn some control time in the second round as well.
Tokov now has six consecutive victories since joining the Bellator roster in 2017. Four of those victories have come via stoppage.
Davlatmurodov was making his Bellator debut with a strong six-fight winning streak.
The Rest of the Card
Heavyweight Kirill Sidelnikov finished the prelims with an explosive victory, stopping Rab Truesdale in the first round with heavy ground and pound shots.
Katarzyna Sadura picked up a stoppage win in her Bellator debut, dropping Darina Mazdyuk in the second round with an overhand right before finishing the fight with ground and pound.
Irina Alekseeva bounced back from her sole pro loss Saturday, going three rounds against Stephanie Page for a comfortable unanimous decision win.
Nikita Mikhailov had a grinding performance over Brian Moore, using wrestling and ground and pound striking to secure a unanimous decision victory. Mikhailov is now on a four-fight winning streak.
Brutal ground and pound from Alexey Shurkevich scored him a first-round victory over Grachik Bozinyan on Saturday. After scoring a knockdown with a left hook, Shurkevich landed strikes on the ground to Bozinyan, who was committed to searching for a leg submission.
Bellator veteran Aiden Lee got back to the win column on Saturday, securing a first-round rear naked choke win over Aleksandr Osetrov. Lee has now won in three of his five Bellator appearances.
Main Card (3:00PM EDT / 10:00PM MST) (Showtime)
Bout 10: Fedor Emelianenko def. Timothy Johnson (RD 1, 1:40)
Bout 9: Said Sowma def. Vitaly Minakov via TKO, Injury (RD 3, 3:08)
Bout 8: Usman Nurmagomedov def. Patrik Pietila via Submission, Rear Naked Choke (RD 1, 4:06)
Bout 7: Anatoly Tokov def. Sharaf Davlatmurodov via Decision, Split
Preliminary Card (12:30PM EDT / 7:30PM MSK) (Youtube)
Bout 6: Kirill Sidelnikov def. Rab Truesdale via TKO, Strikes (RD 1, 2:01)
Bout 5: Katarzyna Sadura def. Darina Mazdyuk via TKO, Strikes (RD 2, 3:17)
Bout 4: Irina Alekseeva def. Stephanie Page via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 3: Nikita Mikhailov def. Brian Moore via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 2: Alexey Shurkevich def. Grachik Bozinyan via TKO, Strikes (RD 1, 2:25)
Bout 1: Aiden Lee def. Aleksandr Osetrov via Submission, Rear Naked Choke (RD 1, 3:41)