Bellator 290 main event featured a heavyweight title fight rematch between Fedor Emelianenko and Ryan Bader.
The MMA legend and arguably greatest heavyweight of all time, Emelianenko (40-7 MMA), was making his final cage appearance this evening. ‘The Last Emperor‘ entered the matchup coming off back-to-back first-round knockout victories over Timothy Johnson and Quinton Jackson. Those wins were preceded by a TKO loss to Ryan Bader at Bellator 214, in a bout that had lasted just 35-seconds.
Meanwhile, Bader (31-7 MMA) was looking to earn the third defense of his Bellator heavyweight title when he rematched Fedor this evening in Inglewood. ‘Darth’ was coming off back-to-back decision wins over Cheick Kongo and Valentin Moldavsky in 2022.
Round one of the Bellator 290 main event begins and Bader takes the center of the Octagon. Fedor with a right hand. ‘Darth’ responds with a left. He feints with a takedown and lands a good right. Emelianenko leaps in with a right that misses. Bader with a good left. He sends Fedor crashing to the canvas with a right. Ground and pound now from the current Bellator heavyweight champion. He has three and a half minutes to work from the position. ‘The Last Emperor’ is bleeding from his nose. Big lefts and hammer fists from Ryan Bader. He continues to unload on the PRIDE legend. Fedor is getting mauled here. Herb Dean steps in and stops the contest.
Official Bellator 290 Result: Ryan Bader def. Fedor Emelianenko via TKO at 2:30 of Round 1
Check out how the pros reacted to ‘Fedor vs. Bader 2’ below:
Post-fight reactions to Ryan Bader defeating Fedor Emelianenko at Bellator 290: