Fedor Emelianenko Vs. Ryan Bader is the type of fight that fight fans have never even considered until the possibility of happening, not because of super fight status, but rather because of the obscurity of it. Fedor Emelianenko has always been regarded as one of the greatest MMA fighters to have ever lived and is still believed to be the greatest Heavyweight to ever live. Ryan Bader is that of a different narrative. His accomplishments are often overlooked and not seen as overly groundbreaking by many, this is a mistake though. By comparing the accomplishments of the two men, then it is obvious that at this stage Fedor has accomplished far more and against higher opposition. Let’s compare both men’s careers.
Accomplishments: PRIDE FC Heavyweight Champion, WAMMA Heavyweight Champion, RINGS 2001 Openweight Champion, RINGS 2001 Absolute Class Tournament Winner, Sambo World Champion (4x), Russian Sambo Champion (6x), European Sambo Champion
Victories over – Mark Hunt, Mirko Cro Cop, Kevin Randleman, Brett Rogers, Mark Coleman (2x), Ricardo Arona, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (2x), Tim Sylvia, Andrei Arlovski, Frank Mir, Matt Lindland, Jeff Monson, Satoshi Ishii, Fabio Maldonado, Heath Herring, Semmy Schilt, Chael Sonnen and Renato Sobral
Defeated by – Dan Henderson, Antonio Silva, Fabricio Werdum and Matt Mitrione
Accomplishments: The Ultimate Fighter 8 Winner, Bellator Light Heavyweight Champion, NCAA Division I All-American (2x), Pac-10 Conference Championship (3x)
Victories over – Vinny Magalhaes, Keith Jardine, Rampage Jackson, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (2x), Matt Mitrione, Phil Davis (2x), Rashad Evans, Vladimir Matyushenko, Ovince Saint Preux, Ilir Latifi, Muhammed Lawal, Linton Vassell and Rafael Cavalcante
Defeated by – Lyoto Machida, Glover Teixeira, Tito Ortiz, Jon Jones and Anthony Johnson
When looking at the history of both men it is easier to find the path for victory for Fedor. The reason for this is because Bader has a history of losing to men with respectable power with known takedown defence whereas Fedor’s losses range from people with different strengths. If this fight was years ago when there could’ve been a more competitive fight, this would be unlikely though, when Bader was getting started, Fedor was not performing at his best, this leaves both men fighting at a crossroads.
Bader has been performing very well in his recent outings, dominating Mitrione recently as well as a dominating knockout victory over King Mo. Fedor has struggled as of recent, having Mir, Fabio and Mitrione drop him as well as an undersized Heavyweight in Chael Sonnen finds some success in the wrestling department against Fedor, sacrificing top position which ultimately cost him the position and maybe even the contest to Fedor. Although Fedor has proven that against Mir and Mitrione (not knocking out Mitrione, but by knocking him down) that he still has tremendous power. Fedor also proved against Mir that his Sambo skills are still very real and showed that he still possessed great throws from the clinch to counter takedowns, however, Frank Mir isn’t as good as a wrestler as Bader. will these moments from Fedor be enough against a legitimate top 10 Light Heavyweight and even arguably a top 10 Heavyweight in Ryan Bader? I think not, Fedor’s chin is not as solid as it once was and Ryan Bader is easily the highest ranked opponent Fedor has seen fought since Dan Henderson. Nostalgia won’t be enough.
Prediction: Ryan Bader defeats Fedor Emelianenko
Exact Prediction: Ryan Bader defeats Fedor Emelianenko via 1st round (T)KO