Fedor Emelianenko was in top form in his victory over Timothy Johnson at Bellator 269.
After a few tense exchanges in the early going, “The Last Emperor” dropped Johnson with a three-punch combination as his opponent rushed forward. Once Emelianenko landed, Johnson crashed to the canvas and the fight was immediately stopped at the 1:40 mark of Round 1. Considering that Johnson was coming off a loss to Valentin Moldavsky in an interim heavyweight title bout, it might be the most impressive victory of Emelianenko’s Bellator tenure.
“I think maybe this is one of the most important wins in my career, taking into consideration the location, the country, the age,” Emelianenko said during Saturday’s post-fight press conference. “Taking into consideration the force of Timothy and that Timothy is a strong opponent.”
While Emelianenko wouldn’t directly address his future, it sounds as though the legendary Russian will proceed with his plan of one more bout on what has amounted to a farewell tour. He has been victorious in four of his last five outings under the Bellator banner.
“I will answer this question tomorrow,” Emelianenko said. “I would like to say that at the moment I’m not planning on finishing the career.
“I’m going to talk to [Bellator president Scott Coker], I’m going to talk to my family. We’ll leave a little bit quietly, we’ll pray and then God will tell us what we should do.”
So far, Emelianenko has defeated Quinton Jackson in Japan and Johnson in Russia. He previously stated that he would also like to fight once more in the United States, and he reiterated that sentiment on Saturday.
“It’s much easier for me to perform in America,” Emelianenko explained. “I don’t have such huge, huge attention or maybe I do get the attention, but all the events, they are strictly planned.
“Here at home, all our camp and our preparation for the fight, they took place under the supervision of the media and journalists and so on.”
For now, though, Emelianenko was pleased to simply bask in the glow of a turn-back-the-clock victory in front of his home fans. The future can wait.
“I feel really great,” Emelianenko said. “I feel good. I’m really very happy. I’m very happy that everything worked out the same way we were thinking about that. I’m very happy for the fact that we made the audience happy and we delivered really such great joy to our fans, to those who follow our careers and Bellator events.”