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Ryan Bader Praises Fedor Emelianenko’s Win at Bellator 208, Talks Upcoming Title Fight

October 14, 2018 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Ryan Bader

Ryan Bader spoke with MMAjunkie after Fedor Emelianenko’s win over Chael Sonnen at Bellator 208. Emelianenko earned a spot in the finals of the Bellator grand prix with the win and will face Bader for the Bellator heavyweight title. Highlights are below:

On being set to face Emelianenko for the heavyweight title: “It’s kind of surreal – but not. I’ve been in there with guys like that, guys that I kind of idolized coming up and standing across the cage from them. No different with Fedor. It’s one of those things where when you get that opponent, you know you’re fighting a guy. It’s just a man, a name, and somebody standing in your way.”

On Emelianenko’s performance against Chael Sonnen: “Fedor looked impressive. He went out there and got after it right away. Chael got in his face and started putting that pressure on him. Fedor was throwing back hard, and he’s throwing those three, four, five punch combos. As the fight went on, I wish I got to see a second round. I thought it would start to turn a little bit in Chael’s favor if it got to the second round, but overall Fedor looked impressive. I’m excited. I’m ready. It got me going.”

On his personal takeaways from the fight: “Chael took him down with kind of a single-leg, a low, low single. It’s crazy because Fedor showed incredible balance in certain positions but kind of got taken down by a low single. I shoot my shots a little different than Chael. I’m trying to either blow you off your feet, or I don’t get it and I stay in a good position. I never like to be anywhere with my knees on the mat shooting, at all. Definitely I saw some things. That was a good reminder right there (of how Fedor thrives off chaos) with Chael coming in there and getting right in his face and kind of coming into a buzzsaw right away. Fedor, that’s his M.O. You come in, he’s going to throw three punches at least at you, and they come from weird angles. Can you beat him to the punch because he has his hands down? Yeah. You want to play that game all the time, though? Probably not. You’ve got to be patient. I come out and I fight different opponents totally different ways.”