Bellator made a splash with a massive announcement for next year with Ryan Bader facing Fedor Emelianenko at Bellator 290.
The promotion announced the news of the Bader/Emelianenko heavyweight title rematch on Friday. The card will air on CBS and take place on February 4th at The KIA Forum in Inglewood, CA.
Bader returns to defend his title after defeating Cheick Kongo earlier this year at Bellator 280. He unified the belt against Valentin Moldavsky at Bellator 273 in January.
Emelianenko returns for one last MMA fight after months of speculation. He called for a fight with Bader after a first-round knockout of Tim Johnson at Bellator 269.
It was originally expected that Emelianenko’s final fight would take place in Russia, but those plans were axed in light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
MMA Twitter Has Mixed Reactions To Ryan Bader Vs. Fedor Emelianenko 2 News
Here’s what MMA Twitter had to say about the Bader/Emelianenko rematch announcement.
Emelianenko is expected to retire following the Bader rematch. He’s arguably the greatest heavyweight MMA fighter in the history of the sport.
Emelianenko won 31 of his first 32 fights, winning titles in RINGS, PRIDE, and the World Alliance of Mixed Martial Arts heavyweight belt. He’s earned wins over the likes of Mirko Cro Cop, Mark Coleman, and Andrei Arlovski during his illustrious career.
Bader made quick work of Emelianenko in their first matchup at Bellator 214, winning via 35-second TKO to win the Bellator Heavyweight World Grand Prix. He hasn’t lost a heavyweight fight during his tenure in Bellator.
Tickets for Bellator 290 will go on sale on December 2nd.
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