All-time heavyweight great Fedor Emelianenko returned to the cage today (Fri., June 17, 2016) against UFC veteran Fabio Maldonado in the main event of EFN 50 in St. Petersburg, Russia.
With a possible UFC debut looming for the aging “Last Emperor,” many of the MMA world’s eyes were fixated on St. Petersburg for the second bout of Emelianenko’s return since he retired in 2012.
The main event started out in classic Fedor fashion, with ‘The Last Emperor’ pressing the pace with his trademark flurries to batter Maldonado. But the tides soon turned when Emelianenko rushed in a bit careless and Maldonado caught him with a vicious counter right hand that rocked Fedor. The Brazilian ground the legend and poured on a relentless onslaught of ground and pound to turn Emelianenko’s face into a bloody mess, and it looked like the bout could have possibly been stopped on several occasions as ‘The Last Emperor’ literally flopped around the cage.
But it was Maldonado’s face that became a bloody mess in the second round, when Emelianenko found a second wind to pressure Maldonado with laser-sharp jabs, low and high kicks, knees, and endless flurrying combinations. Maldonado’s only offense came in the form of a big shot and some follow-up punches in the last minute of the round.
Emelianenko pushed the action with fast, accurate punches again in the third and scored with more varied strikes, but Maldonado fought back with some heavy shots of his own, scoring with counters and big, wild shots. Emelianenko controlled the pace and vastly out-landed Maldonado for the better part of the final two rounds, and while Maldonado nearly had him finished in the first, ultimately Fedor took home a close majority decision, with one judge scoring it a 28-28 draw.
Here are the full EFN 50 results.
EFN 50 Main Card (UFC Fight Pass at 11 a.m. ET):
Fedor Emelianenko def. Fabio Maldonado via majority decision (28-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Vitaly Minakov def. Peter Graham via R1 submission (armbar)
Kirill Sidelnikov def. Ruben Wolf via unanimous decision
Akhmet Aliev def. Matej Truhan via unanimous decision
Anatoly Tokov def. Vladimir Filipovic via unanimous decision
Sergey Pavlovich def. Chaban Ka via R1 TKO (strikes)
Vadim Nemkov def. Mikolaj Rozanski via R1 TKO (strikes)
Rasul Mirzaev def. Dioginis Souza via R1 TKO (strikes)
Abdulsupyan Alikhanov def. Artem Shokalo via decision
Georgy Kichigin def. Vladimir Tyurin via R1 submission (armbar)
Jack McGann def. Abdula Dadaev via R1 TKO (strikes)
Alexander Dankov def. Dmitriy Maryukhin via R1 TKO (strikes)
Valentin Moldavsky def. Daniel Doerrer via R1 submission (guillotine choke)
Vasiliy Zubkov def. Sergey Tovkan via submission (triangle choke)
Marina Mokhnatkina def. Ekaterina Torbeeva via R1 submission (armbar, 0:25)