Emelianenko makes winning return to MMA action
In his first fight in 3 years, Fedor Emelianenko made quick work of Jaideep Singh to win by TKO in the 1st round: https://t.co/zxO9FBro8Q— ESPN (@espn) December 31, 2015
Fighting in the newly-created Japan-based Rizin Fighting Federation promotion, 'The Last Emperor' made short work of his opponent to earn a first-round knockout victory.
Emelianenko (35-4-1) never allowed Singh (2-1) the opportunity to launch an offense, landing a takedown after approximately 90 seconds of tentative sparring.
He quickly achieved full mount, from where he began to utilize his effective ground-and-pound style. The former kickboxing champion had no response to the position or the strikes, and tapped out to punches to end the bout.
The legendary Russian heavyweight's return to competitive action had been eagerly anticipated by hardcore MMA fans. The former Pride champion retired in 2012 after three easy wins against inferior opponents.
Emelianenko signed for Rizin after rejecting the advances of the UFC for whom he has never fought. The closest he came was the Strikeforce promotion where he won one fight before a controversial defeat to Fabricio Werdum, who has gone on to claim the UFC heavyweight title.
Details of Emelianenko's next opponent are yet to be announced by Rizin.
Elsewhere on the card, former Strikeforce champion Muhammed Lawal (19-4) delivered a one-punch knockout against Jiri Prochazka to win the eight-man Rizin heavyweight grand prix tournament.
Prochazka (16-3-1) – who beat Vadim Nemkov in the semi-final – went down after five minutes of the first round.
Lawal, who reached the final with a unanimous decision over Teodoras Aukstuolis, countered the Czech's kicking game with a takedown inside two minutes.
A series of big right hand punches opened a cut above Prochazka's left eye and after the pair returned to their feet 'King Mo' delivered a devastating right hook to end the fight.
Fedor Emelianenko def. Jaideep Singh via TKO in R1
Muhammed Lawal def. Jiri Prochazka via KO in R1 to win heavyweight tournament
Kron Gracie def. Asen Yamamoto via submission (triangle choke) in R1
Kaido "Baruto" Hoovelson def. Peter Aerts via unanimous decision
Andy Souwer def. Yuichiro Nagashima via TKO in R1
Bob Sapp def. Akebono via technical decision in shootboxing match
Gabi Garcia def. Lei'd Tapa via TKO (strikes) in R1
Takeru def. Yang Ming via TKO (referee stoppage) in R2 of K-1 rules bout
Soo Chul Kim def. Maike Linhares via unanimous decision
Brennan Ward def. Ken Hasegawa via submission (rear-naked choke) in R2
Jiri Prochazka def. Vadim Nemkov via TKO (retirement) after R1
Muhammed Lawal def. Teodoras Aukstuolis via unanimous decision
Rena Kubota def. Jleana Valentino via submission (flying armbar) in R2