Fedor Emelianenko edged out a win over Fabio Maldonado on Friday in Russia at EFN 50, but it came after he got beat up and nearly stopped in the first round, and likely should have ended in a draw at best.
The embarrassing majority decision came down with only one judge giving Maldonado a 10-8 first round. Maldonado himself was embarrassing after the first, opting to stand at the cage and letting himself get hit while doing little much else himself.
That first round was shocking, though, with Maldonado surprisingly cracking Emelianenko with a wild punch, then unleashing strikes on the ground. Emelianenko was hurt badly, and had the fight taken place anywhere else it probably would have been stopped. He made it to his feet, but stumbled badly across the cage. He was able to get in enough offense after surviving the first to win the next two rounds, but the damage done in the first warranted a 10-8 in Maldonado’s favor.
Regardless, Emelianenko leaves with his hand raised, though this performance could cool talks with the UFC for his next fight.
Penick’s Analysis: Fabio Maldonado made Fedor Emelianenko look like Fabio Maldonado. The decision is absolutely ridiculous, and it’s a setback fight for Emelianenko image-wise even with him being gifted the decision in his home country.