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Beltar 269: Fedor Emelienko demands stunning knockout in Moscow


The report below details what happened to Bellator 269. You can watch the whole event again on BBC iPlayer (UK only) Here.

Russian MMA icon Fedor Emelianenko came back year after year in front of the house crowd as he knocked out number two heavyweight Tim Johnson in the main event of the Belt 269.

Emelianenko, 45, was making his first competitive appearance on home soil in five years, but he proved that – despite plans to retire from the game in the near future – he remains a serious threat to Bellett’s top heavyweights.

The two men enlarged each other’s size and began to fight to test the range, but when the action began earnestly, Emilianenko – known as ‘The Last Emperor’ – insisted.

As Johnson proceeded to apply pressure, Emilianenko unveiled a stunning three-punch combination, the final shot smashing Johnson, 36, into the canvas for a spectacular knockout.

Johnson’s knockout of Emilianenko has taken his career win tally to 40, with 31 of those wins coming within distance.

During his prime, Emilianenko won the heavyweight title at the now-defunct Japanese Promotional Pride Fighting Championships for 1,663 days in his famous nine-year, 27-fight unbeaten run.

And the win now puts Emelianenko in a position to pose a potential challenge for championship gold once again before announcing his retirement.

“It’s a huge event for us,” he said of the fight in his country. “It’s been quite a while since I last fought in Russia, so it’s a very big deal and I’m glad we succeeded.”

The displaced finger ends Minakov’s hopes

Former ballet heavyweight champion Vitaly Minakov’s hopes of a victorious return to the cage have ended in despair as he was injured in a fight with American Saeed Sooma in his co-main event.

His first appearance since August 2019, Minakov, 36, dominated the first round against Soumar, using his heavy hand strike to force the little man to the back foot.

But in the second round, the 28-year-old Soma changed tactics and a series of punitive calf kicks aimed at Minakov’s lead foot, which clearly upset the former champion.

In the final round, Minakov dislocated a finger when he grabbed the top of Soma’s head with a fist and referee Brian Miner stopped the fight then called the doctor to help the Russian reset the figure.

Minakov wanted to continue but, as the fight had already ended, Soma was awarded a TKO victory.

After an easy win, Nurmagomedov called for a top-10 opponent

Undefeated lightweight Usman Nurmagomedov completely dominated Patrick Pitila of Finland to lift his perfect professional record to 14-0, then Belletter’s matchmakers called on him to fight his top 10-ranked opponent.

Along with his cousin, former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, in his corner, he kicked 23-year-old Pitila with a stiff calf and quickly took his man to the canvas.

Through action on the mat, Nurmagomedov hits Finn to the ground before finally suffocating a back nude to claim victory for the fourth submission of his career.

Speaking through a translator after the fight, Nurmagomedov said: “I’m telling Beltar to give me someone from the top 10 because the number of haters is growing.”

Usman Nurmagomedov celebrates his victory over Finland’s Patrick Pietler – his cousin, former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, right

After a hard-fought victory, Tokov called for a title shot

In the opening key card match of the night, middleweight contestant Anatoly Tokov was pushed to the limit by former training partner Sharaf Davlatmuradov in a three-round punitive fight.

Tokov, 31, was landed on canvas with the first punch of the battle of color Davlatmurodov, but the Russian contestant bounced straight back and settled into his work.

The pair traded back and forth, but Tokov’s strength and wrestling lent him a crucial moment as he won a decisive 29-28, 28-29, 29-28 score.

Tokov’s win extended his winning streak to six fights, bringing him the 30th win of his professional MMA career.

It also included the Russian star for a shot in the middleweight title in the hands of Dutch champion Gegard Musassi and the former ACB champion said: “I believe I deserve a title shot, although in this particular fight I did not show everything. That I am capable.”

Lee demanded a quick submission

In the opening fight of the night, Birmingham featherweight Aiden Lee picked up a great victory by submitting Alexander Osetrov of Russia in the first round.

Lee, who sought to bounce back from a defeat he submitted to hot prospect Aaron Pico in June, claimed his third win under the Ballet banner.

After finishing his rear-naked choke, Lee said: “I’m a good striker, I’m a world-class striker.

“I was comfortable on foot, but I knew I had a big advantage on the ground against him.”

Although it was not a memorable night for Brian Moore of Ireland and RAB Trussdale of Scotland.

Moore lost 29-28, 29-28, 29-28 in the scorecard after a bantamweight primary card fight with Russian prospect Nikita Mikhailov.

Trussdale, 35, appeared in the primary card competition featuring the night, but finished through a ground-and-pound TKO by Russian heavyweight Kirill Sedelnikov.

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