Bellator and Rizin ran their co-promoted event on Saturday night from the Saitama Super Arena with Pride veterans Fedor Emelianenko and Quinton Jackson headlining the show.
The fight was one-sided with Jackson showing up in terrible shape at 265 pounds and acknowledged the weight affecting his performance. Emelianenko put pressure on Jackson from the beginning of the fight where he would enter and attack with his striking. Jackson would cover up and try to adjust but there were no visible signs that Jackson had any adjustments coming. Jackson swung wildly and missed, and it came to an end with a right hand that sent Jackson down to the canvas and it was called off by referee Kevin MacDonald.
After the fight, it appeared the 43-year old Emelianenko was announcing his retirement, although there appeared to be a mistranslation. Afterward, Emelianenko spoke to the media clarifying that he is looking at completing a retirement ‘tour’ that would include two more fights.
The former Pride heavyweight champion has fought his last five times with Bellator with wins over Frank Mir and Chael Sonnen prior to Saturday’s victory against Jackson. He was also knocked out in fights with Matt Mitrione and Ryan Bader during that stretch.
Jackson posted the following message on Instagram after the fight:
When that bag secured and the ladies waiting back in the room @MKingRingo @EntangledEntertainment (I’ll never do a fixed fight Fador won fair,i have to get my weight down,that loss was on me.. non fighters need to ?) much love to my real fans,you win some lose some
In the co-feature, former multiple-time lightweight champion Michael Chandler knocked out replacement Sidney Outlaw in the first round. Outlaw, 27, was a replacement for Benson Henderson who had to withdraw due to injury. Outlaw had just made his Bellator debut on November 15th and turned around to take this fight on short notice.
Chandler was aggressive moving forward and took aim at the body. After throwing a right hand over the top and a follow-up leg kick, he rocked Outlaw with a right hand behind the ear that sent Outlaw down as he absorbed another shot for the finish.
This was Chandler’s first fight since losing the lightweight title to Patricio Freire this past May and improves to 20-5.
Michael ‘Venom’ Page ended his year with a dominating performance against Shinsho Anzai that ended with a knockout early in round two.
Page steamrolled Anzai throughout the first round and didn’t relent as the second round began. Page came out with a flying knee against the fence, an elbow strike and Anzai came off the cage into a right hand that rocked him and the fight was over.
It was Page’s fifth fight of 2019 and third consecutive win since the loss to Douglas Lima back in May. The wins over Richard Kiely, Giovanni Melillo, and Anzai will mount pressure for Bellator to place Page against high-quality fighters, which you have to balance against putting Page on display against lower quality opponents.
Here are the complete results from the Bellator 237 portion of the card that streamed on DAZN:
*Goiti Yamauchi def. Daron Cruickshank by rear-naked choke at 3:11 of Round 1
*Kana Watanabe def. Ilara Joanne by TKO at 4:39 of Round 3
*Lorenz Larkin def. Keita Nakamura by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)
*Michael Page def. Shinsho Anzai by KO at 0:23 of Round 2
*Michael Chandler def. Sidney Outlaw by KO at 2:59 of Round 1
*Fedor Emelianenko def. Quinton Jackson by TKO at 2:44 of Round 1