One of the greatest mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters ever entered the cage for just the second time in four years earlier this evening (Fri., June 17, 2016) at Eurasia Fight Nights 50 in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Fortunately for the legendary Fedor Emelianko, he escaped Friday's tilt with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) defector Fabio Maldonado, a guy Emelianenko handpicked from a list of potential opponents leading into EFN 50, with a fairly controversial majority decision win.
Despite the victory, Emeliankeo's performance was anything but legendary. He was able to respond after getting absolutely hammered in the first round, but his overall effort resembled that of a 39-year-old veteran who has yet to get back into full form.
Credit should be given to Maldonado who utilized heavy hands and exceptional ground-and-pound to nearly finish "The Last Emperor" in the opening round. Understandably, the Brazilian gassed for the remainder of the fight after the referee refused to stop Emelianenko's beating.
The action can be seen below, courtesy of ESPN:
While Emelianenko captured victory over a tested veteran of the sport, he did little to assure promotions like UFC that he has enough left in the tank to warrant a lucrative contract.