Throwback: Fedor Emelianenko submitted 350 lbs giant man Hong Man Choi 15 years ago today

Fedor Emelianenko submits Hong Man Choi {Photo credit: @MMAHistoryToday - Twitter}
Fedor Emelianenko submits Hong Man Choi {Photo credit: @MMAHistoryToday - Twitter}

It has been 15 years since MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko and Hong Man Choi fought at the New Year's Eve MMA event: Yarennoka!, which took place at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.

Despite the South Korean kickboxer-turned MMA fighter towering over him, Emelianenko submitted Choi via armbar at 1:54 of the first round. There were 27, 128 fans in attendance.

'The Last Emperor' was regarded by many as the top heavyweight in the world despite not competing in the UFC. He defeated many former UFC heavyweight champions while competing in Pride, which made it hard to deny his greatness. With the win, he extended his impressive winning streak to 24 straight wins.

The former Pride heavyweight champion continued competing outside the UFC in promotions like Affliction, Strikeforce, M-1 Global, Rizin, and Bellator. Meanwhile, Choi continued splitting wins and losses and most notably fought former MLB World Series winner Jose Canseco, which saw him earn a first-round TKO win against the baseball star.

Fedor Emelianenko set to compete for the final time at Bellator 290

Fedor Emelianenko is set to compete for the final time when he challenges Bellator heavyweight champion Ryan Bader in the main event of Bellator 290 on February 4.

Bellator 290 is a significant event for the promotion as it will be their first event on CBS. 'The Last Emeperor' will attempt to retire as heavyweight champion and at the same time avenge his loss to 'Darth.' The two heavyweights last fought at Bellator 214 in 2019, where then light heavyweight champion Bader defeated the MMA legend via TKO in 0:35 in the first round to win the heavyweight Grand Prix and the vacant heavyweight championship.

'Darth' has unintentionally had quite the rivalry with Fedor Emelianenko's team. His Team Fedor protege Vadim Nemkov defeated Bader via second-round TKO to win the light heavyweight championship at Bellator 244. 'Darth' then got a win back on Team Fedor as he defeated then interim heavyweight champion Valentin Moldavsky via unanimous decision at Bellator 273 to unify the titles.

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Edited by Allan Mathew
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