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Jan 26, 2019; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Ryan Bader (blue gloves) defeats Fedor Emelianenko (red gloves) during Bellator 214 at The Forum. (Mandatory Credit: Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports)


Ryan Bader dominates Fedor Emelianenko at Bellator 214, securing his legacy by become the new Bellator Heavyweight Champion

In three fights in the Heavyweight Grand Prix (total of 7+ minutes), Bader did not sustain any damage.

With a snap of the fingers (Thanos style), the finals of the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix ended before it began.

The idea of a Ryan Bader v. Fedor Emelianenko fight was enticing to many. When the two entered the cage inside The Forum at Bellator 214, it was like a scene out of a movie. So did the ending, as it felt like a passing of the torch moment. Bader knocked out Fedor in 35 seconds to win the tournament and become the new Bellator Heavyweight Champion.

After the national anthem played for both fighters, it was on. Both songs lasted longer than the fight, as a jab by Bedor knocked Fedor off of his feet. A few blows to the face after and referee Mike Beltran called it off. Bader is now a double champion, holding the Heavyweight and Light Heavyweight titles.

This was the first heavyweight title fight since 2014, when Vitaly Minakov was champion. He was stripped of the title in 2016, thus the need for the tournament. It was the best way to celebrate Bellator’s time on DAZN and the new Paramount Network.

Now a winner of seven in a row, Bader (27-5) can be considered one of the most accomplished fighters in Bellator history. Winning The Ultimate Fighter in 2008, Bader went 15-5 in the UFC, but was never given a shot at gold. Finding new opportunities with Bellator, Bader made the most of them. He finished all three opponents put it his way, not sustaining any damage at all against King Mo, Matt Mitrione and now Fedor.

As for the aforementioned Fedor (38-6, 1 NC), nothing is official yet regarding what he will do next. Many expected this to be his last fight, especially with his Bellator contract expiring after the Bader fight. If this was the end, he goes down as one of the most decorated fighters in MMA history.

Bader was extremely interested in defending both titles now that he has been crowned, which would make things interesting for Bellator. Starting off with a literal knockout, 2019 appears to be a banner year for the organization. Up next? The Welterweight Grand Prix.

Daniel Yanofsky

Daniel Yanofsky

Daniel is a Managing Editor at, and covers all things combat sports (MMA, Pro Wrestling and Boxing). He is also the lead New York Mets writer. When he's not writing, Daniel hosts a Sunday podcast, The Main Event.
Daniel Yanofsky
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  1. Pingback: Matt Mitrione on Ryan Bader, facing Sergei Kharitonov at Bellator 215 • Double G Sports

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