Reigning Bellator MMA light heavyweight champion Ryan Bader will try to pull off a huge career feat later tonight (Sat., Jan. 26, 2019) at Bellator 214 from Inglewood, Calif., as he squares off with MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko in the Heavyweight Grand Prix finale.
If victorious, Bader would not only defeat one of the greatest names in the sport, but he’ll become the first fighter in Bellator history to simultaneously hold two titles.
Much like the double champs that have popped up in UFC over the past few years, fight fans are already wondering if Bader would be able to defend both titles or be forced to vacate one like the rest of the history makers.
Luckily for “Darth,” who has already defeated heavyweights Muhammad Lawal and Matt Mitrione to get to this point, he has the backing of Bellator president Scott Coker to do whatever he wants.
“I think he said he would like to (defend both belts),” Coker told reporters earlier this week (h/t MMAjunkie). “I think we would do both as long as it made sense.”
Bader, 35, has already defended his Bellator light heavyweight title once and could very well position himself as the first double champ in MMA to actually keep both belts around his waist. That is, of course, if Bader’s title juggling act doesn’t hold up an entire division.
“Sometimes titles get jammed up, and there’s a group of fighters underneath waiting, but as long as that didn’t happen, we would probably let him fight in both weight classes,” explained Coker.
It’s a nice idea on paper, but Bader first has to get past one of the most dangerous fighters of all time later tonight at Bellator 214. Because even though the former UFC light heavyweight standout has looked good throughout Bellator’s Heavyweight Grand Prix tournament, Fedor is simply in a league of his own. There’s nobody quite like “Last Emperor.”
Make sure to catch the action later this evening as Bader tries to carve out a piece of Bellator history.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire Bellator 214 fight card, starting with DAZN “Prelims” undercard bouts at 7:00 p.m. ET before the main card start time at 9 p.m. ET on Paramount Network.