Tomorrow night in the headliner of Bellator 290, we are going to see a rematch for the heavyweight title and a legend will make the walk for the final time. Current heavyweight champion Ryan Bader (30-7) will put his title on the line against Fedor Emelianenko (40-6).
This will be Fedor’s final fight and a retirement ceremony will come after the fight regardless of the outcome. Another big thing about tomorrow night is it’s the first time that Bellator will have their main card on CBS. A huge night for the promotion.
These two men fought for the first time back in 2019 for the title. It was a highly anticipated matchup that ended extremely quickly. Bader caught Fedor with a lunging hook and put him out in 35 seconds. Since that bout, Bader has gone 3-2 while Fedor has gone 2-0. Both of Bader’s losses came at light heavyweight.
Bellator 290 Prediction
It’s odd but these two have gone in opposite directions since their first fight at Bellator 214. Fedor has won back-to-back fights by first round knockout and looked really good. His performance against Tim Johnson was incredibly impressive and his hands looked quick.
Ryan Bader had lackluster decision wins over Valentin Moldavsky and Cheick Kongo to retain his heavyweight title. However, he was knocked out twice at light heavyweight including a first round knockout loss to Corey Anderson in under a minute.
The safe pick here is Ryan Bader. Bader is younger and we know he can put Fedor away. However, I have this weird gut feeling that everything is aligning for Fedor to walk away as heavyweight champion. In MMA, it’s rare to see a legend go out on top.
However, I think one does here. Sometime in the first round, it’ll be Fedor catching Bader and walking away as the Bellator heavyweight champion.
Prediction: Fedor Emelianenko by TKO