Bellator 214: “Fedor vs. Bader” takes place this weekend (Sat., Jan. 26, 2019) at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif., with early “Prelims” undercard bouts starting at 7 p.m. ET on DAZN (one-month free right here), while the Paramount Network-televised main card begins at 9 p.m. ET (and DAZN).
Ahead of a historic card headlined by Fedor Emelianenko and Ryan Bader, who will meet in the finals of the Heavyweight Grand Prix, Bellator MMA held open workouts for the press on (watch it). Bader, Bellator MMA’s Light Heavyweight champion, broke a sweat in the hot sun then cooled down by talking about how “sweet it is” to be fighting “The Last Emperor.”
“Yeah, it’s awesome you know? Coming into this tournament, I saw Fedor on the other side. Looking back on my career I’ve fought a lot of top guys, (the) ‘Who’s Who’ of MMA (and) he’s always one guy that I thought I would never have even a chance to be standing across the cage with. ‘Man wouldn’t it be cool if I made it to the finals and get to fight one of the guys that I came up on idolizing and watching’? And here we are. To be in the finals with Fedor that’s just the cherry on top.”
It’s a sweet sundae he can savor on Saturday, but he admits it wouldn’t have tasted as good if “The American Gangster” Chael Sonnen had advanced instead of Fedor.
“Being in these Heavyweight finals, it wouldn’t be as sweet — no disrespect to Chael — but it wouldn’t be as sweet if it was two 205ers in the finals. I want a true Heavyweight, not only that, but it’s one of the greatest Heavyweights of all time. It’s a dream right now.”
In very short order we’ll find out if Bader can live out the dream of beating Emelianenko to win the tournament and the Heavyweight title.
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