Ryan “Darth” Bader, 35, of Tempe, Arizona, United States is the new Bellator Heavyweight World Champion. He was one of the winners at “Bellator 214,” which marked the fifth time he won in Bellator MMA.
Featuring 15 mixed martial arts matches, “Bellator 214” took place at The Forum in Inglewood, California on January 26, 2019. In the main event of the evening, Bader faced Fedor “The Last Emperor” Emelianenko, 42, of Stary Oskol, Belgorod Oblast, Russia in the Bellator Heavyweight World Grand Prix Final for the Bellator Heavyweight World Championship.
Mike Beltran served as the referee of the Bellator Heavyweight World Championship bout between Bader and Emelianenko. The referee put a stop to the contest after 35 seconds in the first round when the American contender knocked out his Russian opponent.
In the Bellator Heavyweight World Grand Prix quarter-finals, Emelianenko knocked out Frank Mir, 39, of Las Vegas, Nevada, USA while Bader knocked out Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal, 38, of Coconut Creek, Florida, USA. Both bouts ended in the first round.
In the semi-finals, Emelianenko knocked out Chael “The American Gangster” Sonnen, 41, of West Linn, Oregon, USA in the first round. The latter defeated Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, 40, of Irvine, California via unanimous decision in the quarter-finals.
Bader defeated Matt “Meathead” Mitrione, 40, of Boca Raton, Florida, USA via unanimous decision in the semi-finals. The latter defeated Roy “Big Country” Nelson, 42, of Las Vegas via majority decision in the quarter-finals.
Winning at “Bellator 214” improved Bader’s professional MMA record to 27 wins and 5 losses. On the other hand, Emelianenko now has 38 wins and 6 losses.
Before joining Bellator MMA, Bader was signed with the Ultimate Fighting Championship. He competed in the UFC from 2008 to 2016.
On June 24, 2017, Bader made a successful Bellator MMA debut at “Bellator 180” by defeating Phil “Mr. Wonderful” Davis, 34, of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA via split decision. On November 3, 2017, the former knocked out Linton “The Swarm” Vassell, 35, of Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, England via punches at “Bellator 186.”
Meanwhile, here are Bader and Emelianenko prior to the Bellator Heavyweight World Grand Prix Final: