Fabio Maldonado was the heavy underdog going into the fight with Fedor Emelianenko, but it wasn't a slam dunk like everyone thought it would be.
Emelianenko was able to snatch a majority decision over Maldonado with scores of 28-28, 29-28 and 29-28.
Early in the first round it looked like Emelianenko was going to KO his opponent easy, he laid into him with quick left and right hooks pinning him against the cage and Maldonado was strictly defending.
It was only after a failed right cross which tripped up Emelianenko that Maldonado was able to pounce on the fallen Russian and take control of the fight. It looked as though the referee was about to stop the fight (rightfully so) but he let it continue.
Maldonado took advantage of Emelianenko's mistake and dominated the rest of the round, pounding away from full mount.
Emelianenko was on the verge of a standing KO stoppage, but something kept the referee at bay.
In the second and third round Emelianenko was able to land some damaging knees, leaving Maldonado stunned on his feet. It was apparent that the life we had seen in Maldonado in Round 1 wasn't coming back. He was winded and running out of steam.
They made it all three rounds, with Maldonado seeing his seemingly easy first round finish vanish.