Tonight marks the highly anticipated Bellator debut of Fedor Emelianenko. Regarded by most as the greatest heavyweight of all-time, Fedor will be taking on Matt Mitrione in the main event of Bellator 172.
In honor of “The Last Emperor’s” return to the states, we take a look at some of his best finishes.
Fedor vs. Andrei Arlovski
In January of 2009, Fedor met Andrei Arlovski in the main event of Affliction: Day of Reckoning. Defending his WAMMA heavyweight title for the first and only time, Fedor dropped Arlovski with a devastating right hand as Arlovski was in mid-air attempting a flying knee. A highlight knockout at it’s finest.
Fedor vs. Hong Man Choi
In December of 2007 Fedor touched gloves with the 7’2″, 330lbs Choi. Up against a ridiculous size advantage, Fedor ate a number of punches on his way to securing one of the more picturesque armbar submissions you will ever see, as he was legitimately dangling off of Choi’s shoulder like a Christmas ornament hangs from a tree.
Fedor vs. Tim Sylvia
A 2008 bout for the inaugural WAMMA heavyweight championship at Affliction: Banned, Fedor made quick work of Sylvia as he dropped him and locked in a rear-naked choke for the win in a mere 36 seconds.
Fedor vs. Satoshi Ishii
In his penultimate fight before retiring, Fedor met Ishii on New Year’s Eve of 2011. While he appeared to be an older, somewhat slower Fedor, his right hand apparently didn’t get that memo. After a feeling out process, Fedor landed a combination that ended with a vicious right hand, dropping Ishii in the first round.
Fedor vs. Brett Roger
In what is quite possibly THE Fedor knockout highlight, Emelienanko was up against Brett Rogers at a 2009 Strikeforce event and scored a second round knockout with a punch that was so devastating, gifs were made of Rogers’ head coming clean off his body. This would be Fedor’s last win before a surprising 3-fight losing streak.
Does Fedor have a highlight finish in store for Matt Mitrione tonight? No one knows, but we sure are excited to watch and find out.
It’s a big night for Bellator and for fight fans. Bellator 172 airs tonight, live and free on Spike, starting at 9pm EST.