The Bellator MMA cage was in Rosemont, Ill., on Saturday where Allstate Arena played host to Bellator 198: Fedor vs. Mir.
The two legends wasted little time mixing it up with Mir landing first with an inside leg kick. He pressed forward with a combination that dropped the Russian. Emelianenko immediately got back to his feet and tossed Mir to the canvas. Mir quickly rose and the two separated.
Mir landed a straight left hand and Emelianenko returned fire. Mir overextended on a left hand, leaving himself open. Emelianenko took advantage, landing a left uppercut that floored the American. Emelianenko finished with a series of left hands and punched his ticket to the semifinals of the tournament.
Emelianenko will face Chael Sonnen in the next round of the heavyweight grand prix with the winner moving on to the finals. Sonnen was in the broadcast booth commentating on the action and was brought into the cage following the fight.
“I think the only thing I hate more than being right here in Chicago is being in this ring with you and I assure you the next time I am it will not be for long,” said Sonnen.
Emmanuel Sanchez Stakes Claim to Top Featherweight Conder
In the co-main event, Emmanuel Sanchez took out former UFC veteran Sam Sicilia via submission in the first round.
Sicilia came out aggressively in his second Bellator appearance. He pressed the action and Sanchez dropped down and isolated a leg, looking for a knee bar. He transitioned to an ankle lock, but Sicilia defended the submission attempts. Back on their feet, Sanchez applied a standing arm-triangle choke. Sicilia tried to escape, but was unable to free himself from the choke. He fell to the ground and tapped out seconds later.
“I was thinking a million things in my mind. I was like flying triangle, flying heel hook. What should I try right now? But I saw the opportunity for the arm-triangle and just took it,” said Sanchez after the win.
Champion Patricio “Pitbull” Freire puts his title on the line against Daniel Weichel in the Bellator 203 main event on July 14. With the win over Sicilia, Sanchez put himself in a position to potentially face the winner.
“I’m ready for either one of them. I want it now,” said Sanchez. “Who wants to see me fight for the belt? Who’s ready for a new featherweight champion?”
Rafael Lovato Jr. Remains Undefeated
Middleweight contender Rafael Lovato Jr. was originally supposed to face John Salter on Saturday but an injury forced Salter out of the fight days before the event. UFC veteran Gerald Harris stepped up on short notice and suffered the first submission loss of his 12-year career.
Lovato threw a flying knee early in the opening round and Harris shoved him to the canvas. Harris made the mistake of dropping down into Lovato’s guard and quickly found himself in a triangle choke. Lovato transitioned to an armbar and Harris had not choice but to tap out.
“I didn’t come in here planning to play off of my back. I went for a flying knee and he kind of pushed me down at the same time. I figured he would kind of stay away but since he came in I said, okay, let’s see what we can do. I had a high guard and I knew that he felt the triangle so when he pushed his arm inside to defend the triangle it game me the armbar. I just had to roll over for it and it was locked on tight pretty quick,” he said following the submission win.
“I’m training all of my skills. I’m ready to show everything that I’ve got no matter where the fight goes but if it’s on the ground it’s my world. I’m not being cocky but I just feel like I’m on another level when it comes to the ground game.”
Neiman Gracie Continues Family Legacy with Submission Win
Neiman Gracie, the great grandson of Carlos Gracie, extended his undefeated record to 8-0 with a first-round submission win over Javier Torres. The two looked as if they were content standing and striking when Gracie caught a kick thrown by Torres and secured a takedown. He moved to half guard before advancing to the mount position. He applied an arm-triangle choke and moved to the side to tighten it down. Torres quickly tapped out.
Despite the legendary name, Gracie said he doesn’t feel pressure to live up to his family’s legacy.
“I feel no more pressure. I think the pressure was on these two guys, Master Royce Gracie and my big Master Renzo Gracie because back then there was pressure,” he said. “There’s no pressure on me. I’m just having fun,” he said.
Bellator 198: Fedor vs. Mir Fight Highlights
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Bellator 198: Fedor vs. Mir Results
- Fedor Emelianennko def. Frank Mir by KO (punches) at 0:48, R1
- Emmanuel Sanchez def. Sam Sicilia by submission (arm-triangle choke) at 3:52, R1
- Rafael Lovato Jr. def. Gerald Harris by submission (armbar) at 1:11, R1
- Neiman Gracie def. Javier Torres by submission (arm-triangle choke) at 3:18, R2
- Dillon Danis def. Kyle Walker by submission (toehold) at 1:38, R1
Preliminary Card Results:
- Sultan Umar def. Tom Angeloff by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
- Robert Morrow def. Adam Maciejewski by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Adil Benjilany def. Corey Jackson vby unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
- Mark Stoddard def. Dan Stittgen by submission (triangle choke) at 4:43, R1
- Eric Wisely def. Morgan Sickinger by submission (armbar) at 1:12 R1
- Joey Diehl def. Nate Williams by submission (triangle choke) at 0:54, R1
- Asef Askar vs. Andrew Johnson ruled majority draw (27-28 Askar, 28-28, 28-28)
- R’Mandel Cameron def. P.J. Cajigas by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)