VIDEO: Khabib Nurmagomedov Reacts in Joy as He Watches Fedor Emelianenko Return to Bellator in Style

Published 10/25/2021, 1:47 AM EDT


Bellator MMA heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko turned back the clock in possibly one of his last fights, with a blistering first-round finish. ‘The Last Emperor’ defeated Timothy Johnson in just 100 seconds with a thunderous combination on the feet. Johnson recently fought for an interim title and Emelianenko’s win shows he can hang with the next generation of fighters.

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The bout took place in Moscow, Russia, and Emelianenko was greeted by legions of fans cheering on the hometown hero. Also in attendance was the consensus GOAT of the modern era, Khabib Nurmagomedov who was cage side for the bout. Nurmagomedov’s reaction to Fedor Emelianenko’s throwback win was caught on camera and he was hyped to see the icon secure a KO.

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Fedor Emelianenko: Can’t be stopped

Even at 46 years of age, Fedor Emelianenko continues to go toe-to-toe with the very best fighters in the game. However, he’s at the end of his career now and will want to go out in iconic fashion given his status as an all-time GOAT. The fight that makes sense going forward would be a rematch against Ryan ‘Darth’ Bader for the heavyweight strap.

 

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There have been talks to have Emelianenko fight in Japan for what would be a call back to his days in PRIDE FC. Having the opportunity to walk away with the undisputed heavyweight strap on his shoulder would be legacy-defining. Not to mention, he’ll have a chance to avenge his 35 second KO loss to Bader that came in January 2019.

As for ‘Darth’ Bader, he’s coming off a loss to Corey Anderson at the light heavyweight Grand Prix. He missed out on a chance to rematch Vadim Nemkov for the light heavyweight strap that once belonged to him and he’ll be itching to get back to the win column. A fight against Fedor Emelianenko in a sold-out arena would be something Bader signs up for immediately.

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As indicated by Khabib Nurmagomedov’s expression, Emelianenko is still a fan-favorite fighter, just as he was back in PRIDE. The MMA community can’t wait to see what the future holds for ‘The Last Emperor’.

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Darryl Pinto

2020 articles

Darryl Pinto is a senior MMA writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Mass Media (with a specialization in Journalism) out of Xavier’s College and has a year's experience in his current role. Darryl specializes in predictions, reporting, and covering UFC events live.

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