Bellator 198: Fedor Emelianenko vs. Frank Mir Fight Preview

Russian mixed martial artist Fedor Emelianenko (L), president of the Russian MMA Union, multiple World Combat Sambo Champion, gives a masterclass to Primorye fighters at the Molodyozhny Sports Complex. Yuri Smityuk/TASS

The main event of Saturday’s Bellator 198 card is intriguing and difficult to predict. Aging legends Fedor Emelianenko and Frank Mir will clash for a spot in the semi-finals of Bellator’s heavyweight Grand Prix.

Bellator 198: Fedor Emelianenko vs. Frank Mir fight preview

Fedor Emelianenko

Age: 41

MMA Record: 36-5-0, 1 NC

Bellator Record: 0-1-0

Last Fight: 1st Round KO/TKO loss to Matt Mitrione

Fighter skills and tendencies: Fedor Emelianenko is a very experienced fighter and the former PRIDE FC heavyweight champion. He prefers to stand with his opponents and mostly uses his jab and powerful hooks, only occasionally throwing kicks to damage his foe. When he does utilize the clinch, he will attack with knees to the head and body. When Fedor does elect to go to the ground, he prefers to employ a ground and pound attack that either finishes his opponent or opens them up to be submitted. He used to be a very durable fighter but both his chin and cardio have declined in the latter part of his career.

 

Frank Mir

Age: 38

MMA Record: 18-11-0

Bellator Record: 0-0-0

Last Fight: 1st Round KO/TKO loss against Mark Hunt

Fighter skills and tendencies: Frank Mir is a long-time UFC veteran and former heavyweight champion. He prefers to fight on the ground, where he can use his world-class jiu-jitsu from either the top or bottom position. He generally uses a point striking style stand-up game to initiate the clinch and look for ways to get the fight to the ground from there. He will shoot a single or double leg takedown from time to time. Once the fight hits the floor, his opponents are best served to try and get back to their feet rather than engage in grappling with Mir. His chin has held up pretty well, only getting knocked out by the upper echelon of fighters in the heavyweight division.

 

Fight Breakdown

We have a fight between two MMA legends passed their fighting primes. This is a fight I see going one of three ways. One, Fedor pressures Mir early and lands a fight ending strike from the stand-up position. Two, Mir gets Fedor to the ground from the clinch and finds a submission. Three, both fighters accept fighting at distance and Fedor tires out before landing a finishing blow but wills his way to a close decision loss.

 

Prediction: Mir via split decision

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