ANAHEIM, Calif. - Fedor Emelianenko added to his heavyweight mystique Saturday night, stopping former UFC champion Andrei (The Pit Bull) Arlovski with one punch in the first round at the "Affliction: Day of Reckoning" mixed martial arts card at the Honda Center.
The six-foot-four Arlovski seemed to be having the early edge in the standup game, frustrating the Russian with punches and kicks. but then it turned on one blow. Arlovski drove Emelianenko back with a kick in the corner and then tried to follow it up with a flying knee, only to be floored by a right hand to the chin at three minutes 14 seconds.
"I feel great," Emelianenko said through an interpreter.
The 32-year-old Emelianenko (29-1) suffered his only loss in 2000 - in just his fourth pro fight - due to a cut. The Russian avenged that loss five years later, stopping Tsuyoshi Kohsaka.
The 29-year-old Arlovski, a native of Belarus who fights out of Chicago, fell to 14-6.
The show was the second for Affliction Entertainment, a branch of the Affliction clothing company that has branched into fight promotion. The first card, "Affliction: Banned" was held July 19 at the Honda Center. The second was originally scheduled for October at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas but was postponed to January and moved to Anaheim.
Affliction, whose MMA arm is a joint venture with Donald Trump and boxer Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy Productions, represents the only major-league opposition to the UFC. And the card was stacked with former UFC talent, who either walked away or were discarded by the sport's leading promoter.
Emelianenko stopped former UFC heavyweight title-holder Tim Sylvia in just 36 seconds in the first Affliction event. Sylvia won two of three outings with Arlovski in the UFC.
Emelianenko remains the one MMA star not to succumb to the appeal of the UFC and the former Pride champion continues to write his own ticket.
Earlier, Josh (The Baby-Faced Assassin) Barnett stopped Gilbert (The Hurricane) Yvel at 3:05 of the third round in a battle of former Pride heavyweights.
Barnett (24-5) took down Yvel (42-13) in the first round and mounted him, but somehow Yvel survived the round. The same thing happened in the second with Yvel this time doing damage from the bottom. Barnett mounted him again in the third and eventually Yvel, tapped out due to strikes.
"Dominant position is great. But kick-ass bombs being dropped on people and cool submissions are what people want to see and that's the kind of things I want to deliver. I've got to step it up next time," said Barnett.
Barnett may be next to face Emelianenko in Affliction.
Veteran Brazilian light-heavyweight Renato (Babalu) Sobral submitted Thierry (The African Assassin) Sokoudjou via D'Arce choke.
The 33-year-old Sobral (31-7) used his jiu-jitsu skills to hand Sokoudjou (5-4) his third loss in his last four outings, stopping the 24-year-old Team Quest fighter at 2:26 seconds of the second round
Brazilian middleweight Vitor (The Phenomenon) Belfort made short work of Matt (The Law) Lindland, knocking out the 38-year-old veteran after just 37 seconds of the first round.
The 31-year-old Belfort (18-8) floored Lindland (21-6) with an overhand left and then knocked him senseless with a flurry of blows.
"Matt is a predictable fighter," said Belfort. "So I caught him."
Heavyweight Paul (The Headhunter) Buentello (27-10) showed his experience and striking skills in recording a third-round TKO over young Russian Kirill Sidelnikov (5-3).
Sidelnikov, at 20, had 15 years on Buentello but continually lost the standup exchange and his face was showing the signs after the second round. The Russian took his lumps in the third round, losing his mouthpiece twice and eventually the bout was stopped by the ring doctor at 4:18.
Lightweight Dan Lauzon (12-2) survived a string of low blows to submit Bobby Green (7-2) at 4:55 of the first round.
Green took the fight on less than two days' notice after Canadian Chris (The Polish Hammer) Horodecki was not sanctioned by the California State Athletic Commission, reportedly for a bulging disk in his neck.
"This is a blessing from God," Green said before the fight.
Green proved to be an unorthodox opponent in what turned into a rollercoaster bout. He was penalized in the first round for three low blows - two kicks and a knee. Two of them seemed glancing blows, at best, but referee Herb Dean disagreed and took a point away.
Green took advantage of the final delay in the first round to rubberneck, pointing out celebrities like Trump and De La Hoya at ringside. But he was tapping seconds later, victim of a rear naked choke from Lauzon.
Light-heavyweight Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (16-3) stopped former IFL fighter Vladimir (The Janitor) Matyushenko (21-4) at 4:26 of the second round to avenge a 2002 loss to the American-based Belarusian.