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4 reasons why you need to watch Bellator 214: Fedor vs Bader

Scott Newman
SENIOR ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
1.96K   //    11 Jan 2019, 18:02 IST

Bellator 214 - headlined by Fedor Emelianenko and Ryan Bader - is a must-see show
Bellator 214 - headlined by Fedor Emelianenko and Ryan Bader - is a must-see show

On January 26th, Bellator 214 takes place live in Inglewood, California. While the show might be flying under the radar somewhat due to the publicity surrounding the UFC’s big move to ESPN – the new broadcasting deal starts a week prior to Bellator’s show – there’s a big argument to be made that Bellator 214 is one of the biggest shows in the history of the promotion.

The four-fight main card – which will be broadcast live on DAZN in the US – has a huge main event, and with the planned UFC 233 pay-per-view on the same night now being cancelled, the eyes of the MMA world should be solely fixed on Scott Coker’s promotion.

Here are 4 reasons why you need to watch Bellator 214: Fedor vs. Bader

#1 Bellator will finally have a new Heavyweight champion

Bellator will crown its first Heavyweight champion since Vitaly Minakov vacated the title in 2016
Bellator will crown its first Heavyweight champion since Vitaly Minakov vacated the title in 2016

Scott Coker has done plenty of good at the helm of Bellator since he took over there in 2014, but one thing he hasn’t done as of yet has been to fix up the Heavyweight division. Basically, Bellator hasn’t had a Heavyweight title fight since April 2014, and the title has been vacant since May 2016.

Why is that? Well, former champion Vitaly Minakov ended up in a contract dispute with the promotion and ended up jumping to the Fight Nights Global promotion in his native Russia. Ironically, most of his fights there actually ended up being broadcast on UFC Fight Pass – the streaming service run by Bellator’s biggest rivals!

Eventually, Bellator stripped him of his title, and we haven’t had a Bellator Heavyweight champion since. That will all change at Bellator 214 as the winner of the Ryan Bader vs Fedor Emelianenko main event will not only win the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix, but they’ll also be crowned the promotion’s new Heavyweight champion.

The best part of this? Minakov is actually back aboard with Bellator, having signed a new deal with them in August 2018. He has yet to re-debut, but naturally, whether Fedor or Bader wins, their title is automatically going to be disputed by the return of the unbeaten former champ. That means Bellator have an instant storyline to sell regarding a title fight down the line between Minakov and the new champion.

It’s smart booking, and should not only guarantee interest for this show but for a future Bellator ‘tentpole’ show somewhere down the line.

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