Fedor Emelianenko Vs Ryan Bader

  • Ryan Bader has opened as the massive -400 favorite versus Fedor Emelianenko (+300).
  • Bader and Emelianenko will headline Bellator 290 on February 4, 2023, at the Kia Forum in Inglewood, California.
  • Bader knocked out Emelianenko in just 35 seconds when they first fought in 2019.

Ryan Bader has opened as a massive betting favorite to defeat Fedor Emelianenko at Bellator 290 on February 4th.

According to the best UFC sportsbooks, Bader is a -400 while Fedor hit the betting boards at +300 odds.

Bader will defend his Bellator World heavyweight title against Emelianenko in that event which will be held at the Kia Forum in Inglewood, California. The news was announced by Bellator Broadcast partner CBS last November 18th.

Bellator 290 will air via CBS, marking the first time that an MMA event has aired on the network since 2010. It will also mark the first time that the promotion will host an event via CBS. It will also mark the final fight of Emelianenko’s contract with Bellator and is expected to be the final bout of his legendary MMA career.

Bader Defeats Kongo Via Unanimous Decision

Bader is coming off a successful defense of the Bellator World Heavyweight title against Cheick Congo at Bellator 280 last May 6, 2022. That victory came one bout after Bader successfully unified the Bellator heavyweight belts against Valentin Moldavsky at Bellator 273 last January 29th. Moldavsky earlier won the interim title after Bader competed in the Light Heavyweight Grand Prix.

Bader won the Bellator world heavyweight title after knocking out Fedor in the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix Tournament final at Bellator 214 in 2019. Since then, he has made only two title defenses as he has also juggled his time fighting in the promotion’s light heavyweight division.

The 39-year-old from Reno, Nevada is the first fighter in Bellator MMA history to win world titles in two different weight classes. Prior to joining Bellator, Bader was a standout in the UFC where he won The Ultimate Fighter season 8 tournament. The former two-time Division I All-American wrestler out of Arizona State University has a pro MMA record of 30-17 with 12 knockouts and 3 submission victories.

This marks the 4th shortest opening odds ever for Bader and his shortest since opening at -500 against Lyoto Machida at Bellator 256. Of Bader’s seven total career losses, only two have been as the betting favorite. He opened at -360 when he fought Tito Ortiz at UFC 132 and was the -180 chalk when the betting lines for his Bellator 244 loss to Vadim Nemkov. Both defeats were via stoppage.

Fedor’s Farewell Fight

Emelianenko will try to end his legendary MMA career on top when he faces Bader in a rematch. In their first bout, Bader started strong and knocked out Fedor in just 35 seconds. Since that defeat, however, Fedor has picked up a pair of 1st round stoppages to earn another crack at the Bellator heavyweight belt.

Fedor blasted an oversized version of Quinton Jackson during Emelianenko’s farewell bout in Japan at Bellator 237, knocking out Rampage in just 164 seconds. Nearly two years later, Emelianenko recorded a 106-second knockout of 6th-ranked heavyweight Timothy Johnson in the promotion’s event in Russia.

The 46-year-old known as the Last Emperor is a fighter who needs no introduction. Regarded as one of the greatest fighters in the history of the sport, Emelianenko made his name as the last PRIDE heavyweight champion. A former World Combat Sambo champion, Fedor owns a record of 40-6 with 16 knockouts and 15 submission victories.

Emelianenko has opened as the betting underdog for only the 4th time in his career. He also opened as the underdog during his first fight with Bader at +130 odds. The Last Emperor is 1-2 SU in the first three bouts where he’s opened as the underdog. This also marks the longest odds ever for Fedor in an MMA bout.

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Shane Acedera
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Shane turned a childhood love of the NBA into a successful writing career as he’s been covering basketball and other sports online since high school. Acedera branched out into sports betting over a decade ago and has been a reliable contributor to TheSportsGeek for the last five years. Shane loves to talk sports whether it’s with other enthusiasts or with his wife and three dogs.

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