Fight Facts: Bellator 290 ‘Bader vs. Fedor 2’

Fight Facts is a breakdown of all of the interesting information and cage curiosities on every card, with some puns, references and portmanteaus to keep things fun. These deep stat dives delve into the numbers, providing historical context and telling the stories behind those numbers.

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Bellator MMA reminded fight fans it was still in business in its initial 2023 outing. A pair of champions left little doubt in their defenses atop the billing, and fans viewing for the first time on CBS were treated to a little bit of everything in just three matches. Bellator 290 ended with an exceptionally low finish rate while featuring an ultra-rare unanimously scored draw and the potential end to a remarkable era.

Do Better: Due to pacing and scheduling, Bellator 290 relegated four matches to the postliminary card. This is the largest postlim slate since Bellator 239 in February 2020, when five bouts took place after the headliner.

Laid an Egg: Just four of the 14 fights on the card ended by stoppage, with a finish rate for the evening of 28.6%. This is the lowest such rate for a Bellator card since Bellator 256 in 2021, while clocking on with the fewest wins inside the distance for any show with at least 14 bouts.

We Knew It Would Happen: At the midpoint of Round 1, Ryan Bader put Fedor Emelianenko away for the second time. Bader remains unbeaten in rematches, while Emelianenko suffers his first defeat in a subsequent match against a former foe.

Fedor-Like: With a third successful defense of his throne, Bader extends the Bellator heavyweight record for the most defenses in a row. Over in Pride Fighting Championships, Emelianenko had nearly identical set of championship fights, with a retention due a no contest, a unification against an interim champ and two additional defenses.

The Proper Weight: Bader moved up to the heavyweight category in 2018 as part of the division’s grand prix. After seven matches at that weight category, Bader has still yet to taste defeat, with six wins and a no contest on that ledger.

See You at the Rizin NYE Show: Following his defeat to Bader, Emelianenko retired. The Russian ends an incredible career that began in May 2000, amassing 40 wins opposite seven defeats over many top names in the sport. When he first turned pro, fellow Bellator 290 competitor Ethan Hughes had yet to be born, while Russian compatriots Diana Avsaragova and Nikita Mikhailov were both one year of age.

Enemies Become Friends: At the end of the event, the following MMA legends joined Emelianenko in the cage to celebrate his career: Renzo Gracie, Quinton Jackson, Chael Sonnen, Royce Gracie, Chuck Liddell, Josh Barnett, Matt Hughes, Frank Shamrock, Mark Coleman and Dan Henderson. Combined, Emelianenko posted a 4-1 record against those men.

Pretty, Pretty Good: Johnny Eblen defended his middleweight strap for the first time with a decision over Anatoly Tokov. He joins a small group of champs at 185 pounds to succeed in their first defense, whose membership includes Hector Lombard, Alexander Shlemenko, Rafael Carvalho and Gegard Mousasi.

The Action They Promised: To open the main card, Brennan Ward splattered Sabah Homasi with a head kick and punches. As a pro, the man known as “Irish” has earned 16 of his 17 career wins inside the distance, and he has not seen the final scorecards since April 2012.

Warding Off Judges: Ward earned his 12th finish as a Bellator fighter by dispatching Homasi. He and Goiti Yamauchi are tied for the fourth-most in the history of the company, while A.J. McKee, Michael Chandler and Patricio Freire share the top spot with 13 apiece.

No Regard for Cardio: Over the course of his Bellator tenure that commenced in 2012, Ward has procured nine knockouts. The record of 10 is held by Michael Page and Patricky Freire.

Baited and Switched: After 15 minutes of combat, Jaylon Bates topped Jornel Lugo to lift his perfect record to 7-0. While he started his career with submissions in four of his first five outings, he has since fought to two split decisions.

Local Ticket-Sellers Are Back: The final two postlims of Yusuf Karakaya vs. Hughes and Isaiah Hokit vs. Peter Ishiguro ended with Karakaya and Hokit earning unanimous nods from the judges. Of those four competitors, Ishiguro was the only one to reach a final bell.

A Gracie on the Postlims: Taking a clear-cut decision over replacement Dante Schiro, Neiman Gracie ended his first losing streak. The Brazilian has only needed to involve the scorers twice in victory, with this win his first by decision since May 2016.

Larkinated: Blowing away Mukhamed Berkhamov in 101 seconds in their rematch, Lorenz Larkin lifted his even finish rate to 52%. “The Monsoon” has still never landed a submission, while celebrating 10 of his career stoppages in Round 1.

OK Henry: Taking a decision against Akhmed Magomedov, Henry Corrales picked up his eighth win on the scorecards. He also celebrates seven knockouts and six submissions on his ledger. His career high win streak with Bellator sits at five, while still never needing to go to Round 4 as a pro. Corrales currently rides a three-fight win streak with two full-length matches as well as one technical decision on this run.

The Right Thing to Do: With three 28-28 scorecards, Steve Mowry and Ali Isaev fought to just the second unanimous draw in Bellator history. The first came at Bellator 220 in 2019 between Ignacio Ortiz and Roger Severson.

The 0 Did Not Go: Due to the draw, both Mowry and Isaev both still maintain undefeated records after 15 minutes of action. After six matches in major organizations, Isaev has reached the 10-minute mark or later in all of those fights.

But She Reps Akhmat Fight Club: By narrow split decision, Avsaragova snagged a win over Alejandra Lara to move to 6-0. Four of her pro wins, including each of her last three, have needed the entire three-round experience.

Lara with a Capital L: For the sixth time as a Bellator fighter, Lara did not get her hand raised at fight’s end, while suffering her fourth loss in a row. “Azul” alone holds the record for the most defeats of any female competitor on the roster.

Never Say Never Again: Coming into Bellator 290, Lugo (nine fights) and Albrektsson (17 fights) had never dropped consecutive bouts, Berkhamov (15 fights) and Magomedov (10 fights) had never been defeated and Mowry had never gone the distance (11 fights).

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