Ryan Bader Opens as Heavy Favorite Over Fedor Emelianenko for Bellator Belt

Fedor Emelianenko may be considered by most to be the greatest heavyweight mixed martial artist of all time, but it doesn’t appear that he is considered to be the greatest fighter of today. 

Heading into their Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix final, in which the winner will be crowned the heavyweight champion, Ryan Bader is a heavy favorite to defeat Fedor and walk away with his second Bellator belt.

Bader exited the Octagon for the final time in 2016 before moving over to Bellator. He was long one of the top contenders in the UFC light heavyweight division. He won the Bellator belt in his first fight for the organization and defended it once before entering the heavyweight tournament.

Ryan Bader atop Bellator 199 cageTwo bouts into the tournament, Bader has defeated Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal and Matt Mitrione, but now faces the most prestigious fighter of his career when he steps into the cage with Fedor. He would not only dethrone one of the greatest fighters the sport has known, he would become the first Bellator fighter to hold two divisional belts simultaneously. 

Fedor hasn’t looked nearly as unbeatable as he once did when he was ruling over the Pride FC heavyweight division in his heyday, but he’s still a formidable foe with a tremendous ground-and-pound game and knockout power. Still, Bader enters the fight expecting to be the victor, at least according to oddsmakers.

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According to Bovada, Bader is a four-to-one favorite. The oddsmaker opened with Bader at -400 and Fedor at +300. That means that you’d have to be $400 on Bader to make a profit of $100 if he won, while you could bet $100 on Fedor to earn a $300 profit if he were to win.

The odds are sure to swing one way or the other before they actually meet in the cage, but Bader and Fedor are scheduled to fight for Bellator heavyweight title on Jan. 26 in Los Angeles.

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