“There never was going to be a happy ending for the heavyweight great.”
Chuck Mindenhall on Fedor Emelianenko’s loss to Ryan Bader this past Saturday night in Bellator:
It’s an unofficial statistic, but MMA is something like 0-for-4,563 when it comes to giving its fighters storybook endings. The latest to get a shot was Fedor Emelianenko, who at 42 years old was trying to become Bellator’s heavyweight champion on Saturday night at Bellator 214, against all odds and decorum. Had he beat Ryan Bader to close out the Heavyweight Grand Prix — had the old Emperor successfully stormed the West one last time — he could have gotten the hell out and left all the authors of his legacy scrambling for the right superlatives.
Instead, he got smashed by a left hand. Worse, he barely reacted to that inbound left as it made its way towards his face. When the punch landed, the light flickered in the attic and his blue eyes went to some distant spot on the horizon. Bader wasted little time in blasting him again after he fell. And then again, just for good measure.
Total bout time: 35 seconds.
Total groans of sadness: 3,298,470.
Mindenhall is (unfortunately) getting good at writing about once-great fighters falling before they retire.
If you’re not familiar with Fedor’s career in MMA, do yourself a favor and check out one of his highlight reels.