MMA Has a New Double Champion… Ryan Bader is Now Bellator’s Heavyweight King After Demolishing Fedor Emelianenko to Win the Heavyweight Grand Prix…
Just how good is Ryan Bader? He’s definitely come a long way since his UFC days and is arguably Bellator’s greatest ever fighter after adding the heavyweight crown to his light-heavyweight title. He ran through Fedor Emelianenko to end Bellator’s heavyweight grand prix in 35 seconds – a year after it started.
Fedor is an MMA icon. One of the greatest fighters of all time, and in the eyes of many, the best to never fight in the UFC. Now, he’s well past his prime and is riding a record of 5-2, since coming back out of retirement in 2015. He’s already signalled that the end of his career is approaching, and after getting demolished by Bader, it’s really not surprising.
Watch the footage below of Bader’s destruction of ‘The Last Emperor’ at Bellator 214 in the Forum, Inglewood, California.
— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) January 27, 2019
One of the most exciting aspects of a heavyweight fight is knowing that the two giants facing off to each other have the potential to knock each other out at any given moment. That’s what happened here. The two men faced each other tentatively waiting for the other to move. All it took was a single blow from Bader to knock down Fedor.
It was Bader’s first punch of the fight. He clipped the Russian legend and instantly followed up with some heavy ground and pound. Referee Mike Beltran swiftly intervened to save ‘The Last Emperor’ from taking any more unnecessary damage. Bader was the new champion of the world.
— BellatorMMA (@BellatorMMA) January 27, 2019
Bader is now 5-0 since leaving the UFC for Bellator. He defeated ‘King Mo’ and Matt Mitrione to earn his place in the heavyweight grand prix final and now is on top of the world. It will be interesting to see what happens next for him. Perhaps a crossover fight against ONE’s Brandon Vera could be on the cards? Right now Bader doesn’t care, he’s just revelling in the moment of becoming a champ-champ.
“To be a two-division champion, it’s surreal man,” Bader said. “What a night.”
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) January 27, 2019
It would be fascinating to see him take on Daniel Cormier. It’s about 99% likely that it will never happen, which is a shame because they’re two of the best of their generation. The pair has ever-increasing respect for each other. Bader had this to say to MMA Fighting back in October:
“I think I match up well with him, especially now.“If I would’ve matched up with him five years ago I don’t think I’d do all that well. I think now I beat him. It’s just one of those things, it’s too bad it’ll never happen.”
”I’m a competitor. I want to be the best in the world. I’m not going to say, ‘Oh yeah, there’s another organization [with a better guy],’ you know. Taking nothing away from him, he’s a dominant champion. One of the best to ever do it. Of course I want it. But will that ever happen? No.”