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Bellator 214: Ryan Bader v. Fedor Emelianenko is the dream match the company has been waiting for

Two of the best MMA has to offer will fight to become the First Bellator Heavyweight Champion since 2016.

January 26, 2019 is the date when everything changes for Bellator MMA. For the first time since 2016, a heavyweight champion will be crowned at Bellator 214 on DAZN and The Paramount Network. It was only a year ago when the first match of the Heavyweight Grand Prix started. Now, two of the top MMA fighters today will battle it out to determine who is the best of the best.

Ryan Bader, the current Bellator Light Heavyweight Champion, will face off against a legend in Fedor Emelianenko. The winner becomes the first Bellator Heavyweight Champion since Vitaly Minakov was stripped of the belt.

It has been an interesting journey for both men. By the end of the night, Bellator’s 2019 will start off with one man earning championship gold and all the glory that comes with it.

Master of the Heavyweights? 

Since the move to heavyweight, Ryan Bader (26-5) has been an unstoppable force, a one-man wrecking crew if you will. He absolutely destroyed Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal at Bellator 199, needing 15 seconds to knock him out. He then schooled Matt Mitrione at Bellator 207. While not a masterpiece, his wrestling game was extremely impressive, as he dominated the entire bout.

On his quest to become the first Bellator champ-champ in the companies history, Bader is on a six-fight win streak and can easily fight at both heavyweight and light heavyweight. He isn’t just a wrestler, he is a brawler; Bader has won eleven fights via knockout. Looking the most fit he has ever looked at the weigh-ins, this could be the moment Bader proves he is the best in the world.

Not being re-signed by the UFC in 2016, Bader could make the most of his opportunity and became a dominant entity in the world of MMA.

Hail Fedor (For The Last Time?)

One of the most accomplished MMA fighters of all time, Fedor Emelianenko (38-5, 1 NC) had a very interesting journey to the Grand Prix finals. He absolutely dominated Frank Mir at Bellator 198, needing only 48 seconds to take him out. After avoiding Chael Sonnen’s wrestling ability, “The Last Emperor” defeated him at Bellator 208 on Long Island via TKO. His presence intimidating, Fedor was beloved by the fans inside the Nassau Coliseum.

With 14 wins via knockout and 13 via submission, Fedor is one of the most unpredictable fighters out there. In five of his last seven bouts, he has won via KO. Coming out of retirement, we knew no fighter was safe. He seems to have found a second wind, which has helped his career shine wherever he goes.

Now, as the clock is close to midnight, Fedor is hoping his fairytale story doesn’t come to an end. There are rumors of the former PRIDE Heavyweight Champion retiring following this bout. A win would make things all too sweet but would leave Bellator back where they started. A loss could result in a few question marks.

On the rise, Bellator has proven that they can pull off great events when it counts. With both Bader and Fedor, the possibilities are endless. Can the former make history, or will the latter leave the cage with some gold, possibly for the last time? One thing is for sure: it should be one hell of a fight.

Prediction: Bader via second-round TKO

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Baseball Editor, Misc. Sports Editor. Covers all things combat sports (MMA, Pro Wrestling and Boxing). When he's not writing, Daniel hosts a podcast, The Main Event.
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