The Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix has come to a close with a bang, with the Ryan “Darth” Bader knockout over the Heavyweight GOAT, Fedor Emelianenko that you see above.
Tough to watch, as a huge Fedor fan (and friend), and as a bit of a Bader-hater, but this outcome is probably for the best as far as Bellator’s long game is concerned. If Fedor had won, he likely would’ve retired (and he still may), which would’ve put the company right back where they started, without a Heavyweight Champion. Still woulda been nice though, because while Ryan Bader is likely the best fighter in all of Bellator, some matchups aren’t quite as exciting as this one was for him – to put it lightly – due to his wrestling-heavy style. And that’s why I’m not his biggest fan – sorta. Not because I can’t appreciate a great specialist, but because you can’t use the “Darth” Bader nickname unless you’re torching everyone like you just torched Fedor.
Guess he just made me eat a lot of my past words though, so good on him! Overall, I thought the Grand Prix format was a MASSIVE success for Bellator, and it’s working well for their Welterweight Division as well, so I’d like to see a lot more of it. Congrats to Bader!!!
And Fedor, if this is it for you, it’s been an absolute honor. Gloves off.