It took MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko six years before he would come back and fight in the United States. His return to the United States ended unceremoniously quick.
Matt Mitrione quickly took care of business at the co-main event of Bellator 180, defeating Emelianenko in just 74 seconds after the two of them knocked each other down at the same time with quick right jabs. Mitrione recovered quickly and pounced on Emelianenko, finishing the fight.
Below is the excerpt from Fightful’s live coverage of Bellator 180:
#2 Matt Mitrione vs. Fedor Emelianenko
Round One: The round begins with Mitrione taking a few swings at Emelianenko, Emelianenko starts attacking Mitrione with leg kicks. Emelianenko catches a swinging Mitrione with a counter left, Emelianenko and Mitrione both drop each other at the same time with simultaneous rights. Mitrione gets up first and he pounces on a downed Emelianenko with strikes until the referee jumps in.
Official Result: #2 Matt Mitrione def. Fedor Emelianenko by TKO via strikes (1:14, R1)
Mitrione recalled in the post-fight interview seeing Emelianenko on his back and knew he had a golden opportunity to end the fight early.
"I remember thinking, 'Oh shit, I've got to jump on him,'" Mitrione said.
The two of them were supposed to headline the Bellator 172 card from San Jose, California, but Mitrione fell ill just hours before the fight and was unable to continue. That card was then headlined by Josh Thomson and Patricky Freire.
Emelianenko’s five-fight win streak was snapped and his MMA record now moving to 36-5. “The Last Emperor,” regarded as one of the greatest heavyweights in mixed martial arts history, is a former PRIDE heavyweight champion.
Mitrione has won all three of his fights in Bellator since ending his last UFC run on a two-fight win streak, but the win against Emelianenko marks the biggest win of Mitrione’s MMA career.