It took US light heavyweight champion Ryan Bader just 35 seconds to knock out Russian legend Fedor Emelianenko to win the Bellator MMA Heavyweight World Grand Prix tournament on Saturday.
Referee Mike Beltran quickly waved off the fight to rescue Emelianenko as fell on the canvas after Bader performed his left hook and tried to go ahead with a right uppercut.
"It was an honour for me to be in the cage and win the heavyweight title and compete against that man. I have a tonne of respect for him," Bader told reporters, referring to Emelianenko.
Twitter users have, meanwhile, remained at loggerheads over the bout, with some giving kudos to Emelianenko, while others advise him to "hang up the gloves" and "submit to age".
Big embarrassment for a legend fighter being knocked down in 35 seconds— Natalia Feldman🇨🇦 (@NataliaFeldman5) 27 января 2019 г.
I was at his fight in Vegas in 2006 when he destroyed Mark Coleman and I thought he was the baddest man ever. Now it's sad to see him go down like nothing. Wish these guys would retire before they go out like this.— whatever (@thedenogginize) 27 января 2019 г.
Wow. Fedor out here looking like an Old man really past his Prime. Just a gust of wind Blew him over. Smh. It's time. Great Career. Thanks for everything. Anderson might be next. 😪😪— Big Panamera (@BigMKidd3D) 27 января 2019 г.
Unbelievable! Too easy!!!— Monessa (@Monessa15) 27 января 2019 г.
Fedor has had some wars, and it shows in both his chin and bleeding time. He needs to retire and i hope we get the news later tonight or tomorrow that he's done so.— Keith Mikell (@mikells43) 27 января 2019 г.
Fedor is my favorite MMA fighter of all time, but PLEASE retire. Should have years ago.— Datphillycat (@RamonSimmons) 27 января 2019 г.
once again proof that bellator is a circus. bader could'nt win anything in ufc but he is light and heavyweight bellator champ. fedor the fake could'nt win a fight in ufc. what a joke.— jeff kiser (@jeffkiser10) 27 января 2019 г.
Hang up the gloves fedora— Calvin Sleepa (@CuckooCal420) 27 января 2019 г.
Not a K.O.— Runaway Slave (@Kevin_P_Wright) 27 января 2019 г.
Early stoppage while Fedor was still swinging back. He may have recovered. Same for his fight with Matt.
Fedor no doubt one of the greatest but at age 40 and older you have to submit to age. I salute his courage.— Martin M. Sappl (@Martin_Sappl) 27 января 2019 г.
One netizen even claimed that the referee should not have stopped the bout because the Russian fighter "may have recovered".
Emelianenko, nicknamed "The Last Emperor", said earlier this week that "at my age right now, more and more I'm thinking about retiring".
"And it's not because I don't want to fight. It's definitely because of the age and all the injuries. There's been no adjustments, no changes in the training process. But it takes more time to recover", the 42-year-old admitted.