It wasn't the picture perfect ending either fighter imagined, but it's real: Fedor Emelianko loses to Antonio Silva by doctor stoppage. What happened in June against Fabricio Werdum - the unthinkable - now happened twice in a row, both defeats coming at the hands of Brazilians. Call it the revenge of Nogueira.
In the first round, both fighters stood on the feet and generally evenly traded, perhaps with Fedor getting the better of the exchanges on the judges score cards. One can still make a case for Antonio Silva to have won that round, especially given the late takedown he secured just before the bell sounded.
The second round, however, belonged entirely to the American Top Team prospect. He took Fedor down immediately, controlled Fedor's position on the bottom, passed to superior position on top and unloaded a barrage of hard strikes that nearly stopped the action. He was able to keep Fedor controlled either in back mount or mount and came close to securing a head and arm triangle. Fedor was able to escape late and even attempted a submission of his own towards the end of the second, but the damage had been done. Before the third round started, Fedor could not see out of his left eye and the doctor stopped the fight.
The doctor stops this contest at the end of round two. Antonio Silva is the winner by way of TKO. He will face the winner of Fabricio Werdum vs. Alistair Overeem.
There will be debate about the stoppage, but the notion that Fedor can still compete at the highest level in professional heavyweight MMA has never been more dubious.