Bellator MMA light heavyweight champion Ryan Bader says Fedor Emelianenko’s mystique will be gone once they step into the cage together.
Both men earned their right to fight for the Bellator heavyweight title in January. Bader and Fedor made it through a grueling Heavyweight Grand Prix tournament and will compete for the vacant title against one another.
Fedor, 42, is a heavyweight legend in the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA). As one of the most dominant fighters of his time, this certainly presents a huge opportunity for Bader. However, “Darth” isn’t looking at “The Last Emporer” as if he’s a mythical being. Instead, he’s treating the Russian like he’s any other man (via MMA Junkie):
“I think he gets just as anxious and nervous and all that like the rest of us, and I could see that,” Bader said. “For me, it’s just – I’m not going to put him on a pedestal. I’m going to go out and do what I do.
“I’m coming out as the champ, as ‘I’m going to go out there and beat him.’ I’m the best in the world. That’s my mentality. The mystique and all that about it, it’s going to be gone. It’s very cool when I can look back later at it. But right now I’ve just go to see him as just another man.”
Bader and Fedor will headline Bellator‘s show in Las Angeles, California in January. The card currently doesn’t have a number assigned to it as of this writing. Nonetheless, the event goes down from The Forum in Los Angeles, California on January 26, 2019.