In what many expected to be the Last Dance for one Fedor Emelianenko, it turns out it won’t be, but he will rather be looking to get a title rematch after his matchup with Tim Johnson tomorrow afternoon on Showtime.
Bellator 269 Preview
“The Last Emperor” had a little bit of a career resurgence in the last two years when he was able to defeat both Frank Mir and Chael Sonnen to reach the finals of the Heavyweight Grand Prix and face Ryan Bader. Bader would ultimately knock out Emelianenko and win the Grand Prix and heavyweight title in the process. He followed that up with a knockout win against a shell-of-himself Rampage Jackson. After that though, fans haven’t seen Emelianenko, and so almost two years later, we get to see him come back with revenge on his mind.
You’ve still got it… 👏👏👏👏👏
— Bellator Europe (@Bellator_Europe) December 29, 2019
For Fedor Emelianenko, last weekend’s bout of Ryan Bader and Corey Anderson may be exactly what he needs to get one last belt before retiring for good. Anderson talked about the hook that caught Bader being there based on film, and for Emelianenko, he has plenty of power to where if he lands that he could achieve one last major win.
Before that though, he has to get past number two ranked Tim Johnson who is looking to earn a title shot of his own and he isn’t letting the outside disappointment of the matchup ruin it.
Tim Johnson is the second-ranked Bellator heavyweight and has had moderate success in the promotion, so much so he was able to earn a interim heavyweight title bout against Valentin Moldavsky. Wins for Johnson over Matt Mitrione, Cheick Kongo, and Tyrell Fortune set him for that matchup, and while he looked good early, Moldavsky proved to be too much for Johnson and he lost via decision. Johnson still has title hopes though a d quick way to turn around and get a shot against Ryan Bader would be by getting an impressive win over Fedor Emelianenko.
A Former Champion and Familiar Name Highlight the Rest of the Main Card
In the co-main event of Bellator 269, fans will be treated to a matchup of former Bellator heavyweight champion Vitaly Minakov when he goes against Said Sowma.
Minakov will be returning home to his native Russia and returning to the Bellator cage after a last appearance in August of 2019 when he knocked out the aforementioned Tim Johnson.
Former Bellator champ Vitaly Minakov (22-1) regains form from his first pro loss, using a kick to clobber and crumple Tim Johnson in a heap! The four-time Sambo king has stopped 20, 14 in round one, and 13 by knockout. #Bellator225 pic.twitter.com/B5EzhbyLpL
— Kyle Johnson (@VonPreux) August 25, 2019
Minakov has an astounding record of 22-1, with 20 of those coming by way of finish. He is a very real threat to be a champion as long as he fights with Bellator, whether it’s in matchups against Ryan Bader or Fedor Emelianenko.
For Said Sowma, he is looking to play spoiler has he comes out of American Top Team and a record of 7-2 and is coming off a TKO win over Ronny Markes. Sowma has a complete arsenal with wrestling and decent striking, but where he wants to take this fight is to the ground. The problem there is he isn’t even safe there against Minakov. A super fun fight between heavyweights where we learn a lot about both men and also the future of the heavyweight division.
The last name to make sure to look for is a name that you should know and love, although it may have a different first name attached to it, but Usman Nurmagomedov is the real deal.
Nurmagomedov is coming off another impressive stoppage win after a barrage of strikes against Manny Muro at Bellator 263. This will be his third fight under the Bellator banner, and with another impressive win he could have limitless potential. Bellator could see how things go next month in Dublin between Patricky Pitbull and Peter Queally, if that turns out to take a lot out of both guys then a Brent Primus versus Nurmagomaedov matchup could be on the horizon.
There are many fun matchups for Bellator and they will be coming out of what happens tomorrow at Bellator 269, so don’t miss it.