Bellator 269 Emelianenko vs Johnson Preview, Odds, and Betting Analysis

Bellator MMA Fedor Vs Johnson

Bellator 269 has finally arrived, in what may be a legends last time in the cage. Where better to do it than for your home crown in Russia. This Saturday, October 23rd, 2021 in Dinamo Lev Yashin Stadium, Fedor Emelianenko fights Tim Johnson in a heavyweight bout between two knockout finishers. The fight is available on PPV or Showtime.

We’re breaking down the main card’s stats, odds and top betting picks starting with the main event. Don’t miss betting on the return of Vitaly Minakov and Usman Nurmagomedov!

Fight 12 Main Event: Fedor Emelianenko vs Tim Johnson


The greatest of all time is back versus Tim Johnson in a five round main event.

Tale of the Tape

Fighter Fedor Emelianenko Tim Johnson
Odds, per Dollar Wager +130 -162
Age 45 36
Height 6’0’’ 6’3’’
Record 39-6 15-7
Submissions/TKO 15/15 3/8
Over/Under 1 ½ Rounds O -110 U -120

Fedor comes in as the underdog after his last loss against Ryan Bader. Many feel his chin has taken too much damage, despite winning three straight prior to the loss.

Johnson is the bigger man, with a slight reach advantage. He’s giving up plenty of experience. Fedor has as many submissions and knockouts as Tim has wins. The over/under prop bet is interesting, given Fedor’s run of short fights in his last six.

Betting on Fedor Emelianenko

At one time, Fedor was the undisputed pound for pound best ever. He went 30-1 before taking his second loss, meaning he’s lost five of his last fifteen bouts. In the twilight of his career, Fedor has won three of his last five. His last loss was to Ryan Bader by an eight-second TKO in what many called an early stoppage.

Fedor’s Fighting Style and Performances

Fedor turned exclusively into a knockout artist over his last ten fights, finishing six via KO and winning two decisions. All six have been round one knockouts, stretching back ten years to 2011.

The real concern for any bettor is his chin, as four of his losses, including his last two, have been via TKO. Fedor is no less dangerous than he was a decade ago. He knocked down Matt Mitrione before he lost by knockout, but all of his opponents have been aging stars.

Even a decade ago, Pedro Rizzo was at the end of his career when Fedor beat him, the same for Maldano, Mir, Sonnen and Quinton Jackson. Fedor has been fighting a who’s who of age old stars. Tim Johnson is a real competitor in today’s heavyweight division, much like Ryan Bader and Mitrione- the two men to beat him in Bellator already.

Fighters that Survive Fedor

If you’re a striker, you have to be fearless and come right up the middle to catch Fedor off guard. Bader, Mitrione, and Henderson all had success with straight punching from distance. A willingness to exchange with him comes down to not caring about your health. Fedor knocked down Henderson and Mitrione with ease. Johnson has the range and hand speed to land the KO here, but he’ll have to be more careful than he was against Tyrell Fortune and others whom he decided to exchange with.

Betting on Tim Johnson

Johnson has beaten most contenders in the heavyweight division except Fedor and Vitaly Minakov. He defeated Kongo via split decision and Matt Mitrione in late 2020 via knockout from ground strikes.

Tim was in the UFC for seven bouts from 2015 to 2018, beating fighters like Marcelo Golm and Daniel Omielanczuk. Tim has been knocked out once in UFC and twice in Bellator, so it isn’t impossible to see Fedor win.

While many people feel the younger Johsnon will come in and win the fight as long as he’s willing to exchange, you have to look at Tim’s striking style closely. Fedor wins on the inside, landing hooks and clench strikes that put people to sleep. Fedor gets finished by strikes from the outside. Long straight punches.

Tim’s finishes over Fortune and Mitrione were both inside the pocket. I don’t want to see Johsnon fighting there against Fedro, but It may be a flaw in his style that he’s unable to keep his range.

Tim Johnson’s Style and Performances

Tim is 3-3 in Bellator, losing twice via knockout and once via decision. He’s displayed good wrestling against Mitrione and Kongo and patient in-fighting vs Fortune. Johnson has the ability to execute a game plan, as shown against Mitrione, and that can come in handy against Fedor.

Minakov fights similar to Fedor in his prime, and he made Johsnon look completely outclassed. Valetin Moldavsky, his last fight for the interim Heavyweight Bellator title, showed a fighter focused on clench fighting.

Prop Bets Available

Below I’ve selected the four most likely prop bets.

Under 2 ½ Rounds:
Emelianenko by TKO:
Johnson Inside the Distance:
Fight Doesn’t Go to Decision:

The odd’s makers seem to think it won’t go to decision, but that an early finish is somehow less likely than either fighter’s moneyline. I think the Under 2 ½ pays too much to pass up.

Final Betting Pick for Bellator 269 Johnson vs Fedor

Tim’s wrestling and clench-centered style don’t play well against Fedor. Fedor wins inside exchanges with ease, and unless a fighter is willing to play long, they tend to lose. I see Johsnon getting caught on the inside for yet another first-round flash knockout.

However, seeing Fedor in a decision at his newfound style is unlikely. He’s been knocked out or won in the first for the last four years. Tim has the power to finish, and I think this is Mitrione vs Fedor all over again, just a shout-out to determine who gets slept.

Fedor Emelianenko vs Tim Johnson:
Under 2 ½ Rounds!

Fight 11: Vitaly Minakov vs Said Sowma


Minakov continues the comeback trail after his first loss ever. Sowma hopes to shock the Heavyweight division.

Tale of the Tape

Fighter Vitaly Minakov Said Sowma
Odds -330 +250
Age 36 28
Height 6’3’’ 5’11’’
Record 22-1 7-2
Submissions/TKO 7/13 1/4
Over/Under 1 ½ Rounds O -135 U +105

Vitaly is older, taller, and has triple the experience of Sowma. They have similar rates of finishing.

Sowma lost his first fight, and both fighters are 1-1 over their last two.

Betting on Vitaly Minakov

Minakov is a heavyweight terror. He’s beaten nearly the entire top ten in the heavyweight division at Bellator. His recent loss to Cheick Kongo was a rematch, and if not for Bader holding the heavyweight division hostage, Vitaly would have been champion. Defeating the main event’s Tim Johsnon by TKO in 2019 was his last bout, so there is some concern of inactivity. His bet pays out at $0.30 per dollar wager.

Betting on Said Sowma

Sowma is a 2.5 to 1 underdog for a reason. He failed his only major test in Tyrell Fortune, who beat him in a unanimous decision. Fortune lost to Johnson, who lost to Minakov via TKO. Said is well outside his normal level of talent. That said, he is a finisher, who has no shortage of first round stoppages.

Prop Bets Available

Below, we’ve listed our top prop bet picks.

Over 2 ½ Rounds:
Minakov by TKO:
Not Sowma Inside the Distance:

Not all sportsbooks carry the ‘not inside the distance’ mma props,  but they can be very safe bets. Minakov has delivered TKOs in his last three wins. If you’re a Sowma fan, you may see this fight going to a decision, in which case, the over prop pays well.

Final Betting Pick for Sowma vs Minakov

Minakov is a force, and a man I think will be heavyweight champion in two years or less. Sowma just isn’t there yet, and needs a few camps to mature as a fighter.

Vitaly Minakov vs Said Sowma:
Viatly Minakov!

Fight 10: Patrik Pietila +1300 vs Usman Nurmagomedov -2500

160 lbs Catchweight

In one of the most one-sided fights of any show in recent memory, the wrecking machine that is Usman Nurmagomedov has eleven stoppages since turning pro four years ago. His third Bellator fight is strictly for building up stardom.

Patrik Pietila has eight career losses by a mix of TKO, submission and decision, all to fighters of a much lower caliber than Usman.

Prop Bets Available

If you’re not going to Parlay the Usman win, you will be interested in calling the outcome. Here are our top prop bet picks.

Under 1 ½ Rounds:
Usman by TKO:
Usman inside the distance:

If we can call Usman’s win, we can take home a significant return. Usman inside the distance is the most sensible, as his striking and submission skills are well blended.

Patrik Pietila vs Usman Nurmagomedov:
Usman Inside the Distance!

Fight 9: Anatoly Tokov -650 vs Sharaf Davlatmurodov +475


Anatly Tokov is on a five fight tear after losing to now UFC fighter Ramazan Emeev in 2016. He’s finished four of his last five by the second round. He hasn’t fought in two years due to some conflicts of opponent and visa restrictions. He’s back in the cage verses Davlatmurodov, a fantastic fighter whos been heavily active this year. He has fought five times since Tokov’s last fight.

Prop Bets Available

Here are our most confident prop bets for the middleweight bout.

Over 1 ½ Rounds:
Fight Goes to Decision:
Tokov by Decision:

With a Tokov finish looking likely, we have to remember it’s his first fight in almost two and half years. I see the fight going long, with Tokov winning late if he can finish Davlatmurodov at all.

I pick Over 1 ½ Rounds at -150

Fight 8: Kirill Sidelnikov -300 vs Rab Truesdale +250

Kirill is a promising heavyweight that hasn’t been active since 2019. Kirill has been stopped four times in his career, and slowed down after a KO loss to Sergei Paviovich in 2017, fighting only twice since then. Over his last six fights, he’s 4-2, winning all four by decision.

Rab Truesdale is coming off a submission loss, going 3-3 of his last six and 4-4 of his last eight. He’s simply not performed well as he reaches higher levels of competition.

Prop Bet’s Available

We listed our top prop bet picks below.

Over 2 ½ Rounds:
Fight Goes to Decision:

Oddsmakers seem to think this one isn’t going the distance. It makes sense that Russia would bring in Rab as a fighter to lose to Kirill as a Moscow local, but I don’t know if he has the ability to finish what people are predicting. I don’t think Rab is going to win in stunning fashion. We may see a long fight with little action between two patient heavyweights.

Kirill Sidelnikov vs Rab Truesdale:
Over 2 ½ Rounds!

Fight 7: Darina Mazdyuk -175 vs Katarzyna Sadura +150

Women’s Flyweight

Darina Mazdyuk is a popular Russian female competitor who’s won her last two fights. Katarzyna is a local champion and a 4-4 Polish fighter. Poland is producing so many strong female competitors, I don’t think her losses count against her, as many of these fighters show more technical prowess than Darina.

Prop Bets Available

Over 2 ½ Rounds:
Under 2 ½ Rounds:
Tokov by Decision:

Final Betting Pick for Mazdyuk vs Sadura

While Darina is tough, Sadura has had better competition. Her underdog status has more to do with her record than her performances, and I think she’ll be the better fighter.

Darina Mazdyuk vs Katarzyna Sadura:
Katarzyna Sadura!

Bellator 268 Wrap Up

We all hope Fedor is able to continue fighting, but he’ll likely end his career soon. Tim Johson represents the next generation of well rounded heavyweights, and after a loss to Fedor, I’ll be betting on his next performance.


Drop your email below for betting updates, or leave us a comment if we missed anything with this article.

Jacob Clark / Author

Jacob Clark had a 15 year career as a professional MMA fighter, coach, and Greg Jackson’s alum. Now, TikTok’s 12th most important BJJ influencer is bringing his sports and betting knowledge to you here at TheSportsGeek. He spends his time cooking vietnamese food and playing D&D with his family. You can meet him at jiu-jitsu open mats all over Indiana.

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