Rize Up- Fedor Fights Again

Related: The Return of Fedor Emelianenko The land of the rising sun once again found itself as the backdrop for a showdown in the sport of MMA. Bellator’s “King Mo” Lawal made an impact in the name of Bellator by besting all other competition to win the Rizin Grand Prix Tournament, but there was one man everyone came to see: “The Last Emperor”.

There are few people in the sport that you only need to utter one name in the sport for fans to know; Fedor is one of them. For all the hype that the 39-year-old’s re-emergence from retirement generated, it seemed to be met with equally as much outrage. Why? Fans didn’t get their often highly speculated clash with Randy Couture (a legend in his own right) or a hot name of the modern era as was mentioned on the TV broadcast. Instead they were given Singh Jaideep, who despite a 2-0 MMA record before standing across from Emelianenko also has a 0-1 grappling record, lost his last three consecutive kickboxing bouts, and whose 40 wins in kickboxing were largely left to the verdict of others (27 decisions.) For all the spectacle that the two-day kickoff event was, although fans saw the “Emperor” once again step between a ring’s ropes, it could be argued that the event, which was heavily built upon this bout and Bellator fighters, failed to deliver (at least to casual fans anyway.) With final instructions given and the standard touching of the gloves out of the way, the bell sounds and the first frame(Pride-style rounds:10, 5, and 5 minutes) begins. Fedor, even at 39, finished his clearly outmatched adversary in under half of the allotted time. The Russian worked the body of Jaideep early as they clinched. Even at five inches above the six-foot Fedor, the native of India still found himself the of a wrecking-ball-like right-left combo. The ropes keep Jaideep from being flung overhead like a rocket on a launching pad. One problem was solved, but Emelianenko secured a takedown by way of a waist lock as just under 90 seconds disappear. Fedor next works from the side to the back of Jaideep before forcing enough separation to utilize old-school ground and pound. The veteran, who went unbeaten for a total of nine years, sets up to dominate from mount. From there, Singh was finished.

If Rizin’s goal was to simply use a big name to put butts in seats and eyes on TV sets, the mission was accomplished.