Through the Fall, MMA on the Rise

ATB: Combat Sports News
8 min readNov 14, 2021

By: Adam Rushton, Social Content Manager for AllTheBelts (twitter: @StraightStrikin instagram: @adamrushton21)

The recent events surrounding the Mixed Martial Arts world this fall have left combat sports fans with a consistent view across the board, the matchups keep getting more and more exciting and the talent pool continues to extend even deeper. The back half of October and the beginning of November have been nothing short of monumental as far as moments that are certain to be remembered not only in MMA, but in the fight game in general. While the UFC has absolutely had its shining moments as of late with 267 and 268 coming our way on back-to-back weekends, fans also had the pleasure of witnessing “The Last Emperor” Fedor Emelianenko compete in his home country of Russia at Bellator 269, as well as several top athletes competing for the $1 million prize in the PFL Championships. In this latest entry, we at AllTheBelts would like to recount just some of the most memorable moments in the Mixed Martial Arts world so far this fall.

Bellator heads to Moscow

If you were a fan of Pride Fighting Championship, then you likely had October 23rd circled on your calendar for weeks leading up to Bellator 269. What’s better than seeing Fedor Emelianenko back in action? Seeing the former Pride FC star, and human highlight reel, back in front of a sold-out crowd in Moscow, and the crowd was certainly not disappointed. Fedor made quick work of Tim Johnson before the halfway point of round one by way of a commanding knockout. This climactic finish had classic Fedor written all of it with the way he drew Johnson into a fire fight and then used his superior punching technique to land a swift set of debilitating hooks, resulting in his American opponent laying barely conscious on the Canvas. While very impressive, the heavyweight main event was not the only talk of the town following Bellator 269 as Usman Nurmagomedov, cousin of former UFC Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, improved to 14–0 with a first-round rear naked choke submission of Patrik Pietila in a Catchweight bout at 160 pounds. The fact that only one of Usman’s past fights has gone to the judges’ scorecards gave fans a decent idea of what to expect here, and how fast to expect it. That being said, Usman did not get the TKO victory that many were envisioning…

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