Heavyweight legend Fedor Emelianenko (38-5, 14 KOs, 15 SUBs) will meet Bellator light heavyweight champion Ryan “Darth” Bader (26-5, 11 KOs, 3 SUBs) at Bellator 214 on Saturday, January 26, 2019 at The Forum in Inglewood, California. The main card airs live on Paramount Network starting 9pm ET.
Count us among the many who thought that Fedor Emelianenko was done as a top fighter years ago. But this Saturday, he could win the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix and become the champion of the No. 2 MMA promotion in the world. All he has to do is pull off a huge upset over light heavyweight champion Ryan Bader - a former UFC contender.
The finish for a storybook ending is set. Fedor is one of the most mythical figures in MMA history, a stoic, doughy Russian who dominated an earlier era of the sport. He is a living legend, with wins over a prime Mirko Cro Cop, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Mark Coleman, Mark Hunt, Tim Sylvia and Andrei Arlovski. Any argument for the heavyweight GOAT starts with Emelianenko.
But at 42, Fedor is fighting long past his prime. He made it to the Grand Prix finals with wins over Frank Mir and Chael Sonnen - two other guys that should have retired a long time ago. Ryan Bader is a different story: he’s still close to his prime and has recent wins over legitimate fighters in Phil Davis, Linton Vassell and King Mo Lawal.
The MMA odds at Betcris are heavily in Bader’s favor, but is Fedor a live ‘dog? Let’s break down the matchup and take a closer look at how you should bet online. Live UFC betting at BetCris also lets you hedge your bets between rounds on fight night.
MMA Odds at BetCris
- Fedor Emelianenko +289
- Ryan Bader -382
- Fight goes/doesn’t go to decision: +365 / -555
Significant Striking Stats
- Landed per minute: Emelianenko 3.18 / Bader 2.82
- Accuracy: Emelianenko 51% / Bader 43%
- Absorbed per minute: Emelianenko 1.0 / Bader 1.39
- Defense: Emelianenko 63% / Bader 71%
- Takedown average: Emelianenko 2.0 / Bader 3.37
- Accuracy: Emelianenko 63% / Bader 44%
- Takedown defense: Emelianenko 82% / Bader 80%
- Submission average: Emelianenko 1.9 / Bader 0.4
Bet on Emelianenko vs. Bader odds at BetCris
Quick disclaimer: the stats above were pulled from FightMetric. For Fedor, this means only his stats from 2002-2012 were used in compiling the totals. Anything after M-1 Global hasn’t been tallied. For Bader, only his UFC stats were measured, ignoring anything that he’s done in Bellator. Still, we can get a decent read from what we have.
In this matchup, Fedor is probably the more skilled striker. Most of his career he’s been known as a guy that can put dudes away with his fists, and his whipping punches have caused all sorts of mayhem over the years. Not as well known is his ability to submit opponents - he actually has tapped more guys than he’s KO’d.
The problem here is his age and physical decline. Obviously, he’s still got enough juice in his arms to KO guys like Mir and Sonnen - but that isn’t saying much given how old those two looked by the time they fight him. The saving grace here is that Bader has had a few instances in his career where he was quickly knocked out, but that’s only happened once in his last 15 fights.
Even if Bader gets tagged, he should easily be able to take down his opponent. Though Fedor’s 82% takedown defense suggest that this is a tough task, his faded strength and quickness should make this much easier for an elite wrestler like Bader.
MMA Odds Pick: Bader inside the distance
You’re not going to get much with Bader to win - we suggest using that as a parlay booster if needed. Bader inside the distance has a better return with only a slight decline in probability. Fedor has gone to decision just twice in his past 19 fights, and it’s highly doubtful his poor gas tank lets him go five rounds with Bader.
Alternate MMA Odds Pick: Bader by TKO
Fedor hasn’t faced a guy in his prime for years, and will wilt against a younger opponent who can just bulldoze him. We see Bader taking him down and pounding him out within two rounds.
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