WATCH: Fedor Emelianenko hands Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson first-ever KO defeat from punches with BIG win in Japan
In the clash of two iconic MMA veterans it was Russia’s Fedor Emelianenko who prevailed as he inflicted a first-ever KO defeat from punches on American Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson at Bellator 237 in Japan.
The two legends faced off in a heavyweight headliner at the Bellator and Rizin end of year spectacular at Saitama Super Arena on Saturday.
‘The Last Emperor’ Emelianenko, 43, was returning for the first time in four years to Japan, the country where he made his name as a former PRIDE champion.
And it was a happy return to his old stomping ground as the Russian inflicted a first-round KO defeat on Jackson, felling him inside the first three minutes with a huge right hand.
Jackson, 41, went down shaking his head, signaling that he had had enough as referee Kevin MacDonald stepped in to wave off the contest.
And while it was a 14th MMA career defeat for the American former UFC light heavyweight champion, it was remarkably the first-ever he has suffered directly as a result of punches.
Afterwards, Jackson said he simply felt too overweight in fighting at heavyweight, signaling that a return to light heavyweight was on the cards.
Russian legend Emelianenko said the stoppage was a good one, and that referee MacDonald had spared Jackson more unnecessary punishment.
“It was a good stoppage because I felt like I would just get on top of him and start to deliver very heavy punches,” Emelianenko said.
“Right after my punch he just collapsed and went face down. There was no necessity to do more.”
Emelianenko, who picked up his 39th pro MMA win, later clarified that targeting fights in the US and his Russian homeland before calling time on his incredible career.Also on rt.com ‘I’m NOT retiring!’: Russian MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko clears up quit talk after KO win vs ‘Rampage’ Jackson in Japan (VIDEO)