On Saturday night, in the main event of Bellator 208, heavyweight legend Fedor Emelianenko stepped into the cage with former UFC middleweight and light heavyweight title challenger Chael Sonnen in hopes of earning a spot in the finals of the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix.
Although Chael Sonnen was not without success in this fight, Fedor Emelianenko won quite decisively, weathering a few takedowns to finish his foe with ground strikes in the waning moments of the first round.
While Chael Sonnen hit Fedor Emelianenko with a bit of his patented, pre-fight trash talk ahead of this fight, there was nothing but love between these two legends once the contest was over.
Shortly after the main event wrapped up, Sonnen and Emelianenko crossed paths backstage, where they exchanged handshakes, hugs, and even a few gifts, as Emelianenko gave his rival a t-shirt and jacket.
See this sportsmanlike exchange in the video above.
With his victory over Chael Sonnen, Fedor Emelianenko can look forward to a battle with Bellator light heavyweight champion Ryan Bader in the new year. The winner will be crowned Bellator’s new heavyweight champion.
Chael Sonnen, meanwhile, has said that, after tasting Fedor Emelianenko’s power, he’s hoping to return to the 205-pound light heavyweight division, where he’s at less of a size disadvantage.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been ground-and-pounded like that,” Sonnen said of Fedor Emelianenko. “I thought there was opportunity there. I was covering up and I thought that he was slowing down. The referee warned me — he said, ‘If you don’t move I am going to stop this.’ But I didn’t think he would because they were gong into my hands. I thought I was blocking them. I thought I was having a rope-a-dope moment. I thought I was luring him in. That was a bad strategy it turns out. That was a bad plan.”
“If they want to do a loser’s ball and play this thing all the way out to third [place] then maybe we do that. But I don’t know. That’s up to [Bellator president] Scott Coker. If you ask me what weight class I’d rather be in, I’d say 205 is more appropriate.”
What do you think of this sportsmanlike display between the two legends?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 10/14/2018.