Ryan Bader has no problem being the "bad guy" in Fedor Emelianenko's retirement

Fedor Emelianenko (left) Ryan Bader (right) [Image courtesy @fedoremelianenkoofficial on Instagram]
Fedor Emelianenko (left) and Ryan Bader (right) [Image courtesy @fedoremelianenkoofficial on Instagram]

Ryan Bader is set to take on MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko at Bellator 290 in what would be the Russian's retirement fight.

The heavyweight champion is fully aware that fans will want to see 'The Last Emperor' retire with a win and the championship wrapped around his waist. However, 'Darth' is willing to be the bad guy and spoil the Russian's farewell party.

During the pre-fight press conference for the event, the American stated that although he respected Emelianenko, he has a duty to win the fight and retain his title:

“He’s a legend of the sport. I respect that man, what he has done for the sport and he’s a good human being. Don’t get me wrong, I know, walking in there, that I’d be doing the same. If I’m watching Fedor’s last fight, I’m cheering for him. I like to do that. I like to see these legends go out on top."

Bader added:

"I know people are going to be rooting for him. But on the flip side, I have a job to do, and my job is to go out there, you know, spoil that party, go out there, and do what I came here to do, retain that belt, win that fight, and move on. All the best. There will be respect there no matter what... but I know what you're saying, me going out there and doing my job and winning, I'm the bad guy."

Check out Ryan Bader's comments on his fight against Fedor Emelianenko below:

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When the duo first met at Bellator 214, it took Bader just 35 seconds to secure a TKO win against the Russian. Both 'Darth' and 'The Last Emperor' are currently on a two-fight win streak.


Ryan Bader vs. Fedor Emelianenko: Bellator 290 betting odds

As per the live betting odds on DraftKings Sportsbook, reigning Bellator heavyweight champion Ryan Bader is the -325 favorite for the matchup against Fedor Emelianenko, who is the +270 underdog.

As per the current odds, a $1000 wager on the champion will provide a payout of $1,307.69 if 'Darth' wins the fight. The same bet, if placed on the Russian, will yield $3700 if 'The Last Emperor' gets the upset against Bader.

Fedor Emelianenko is 40-6-0 (1 NC) as a mixed martial artist. Throughout his career, the former Pride heavyweight kingpin has registered wins against combat sports legends such as Quinton Jackson, Frank Mir, Mark Coleman, and Kevin Randleman, among others.

Ryan Bader has a record of 30-7. He is a former UFC athlete and boasts wins over high-profile names such as Lyoto Machida, Antonio Nogueira, and Quinton Jackson.

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Edited by Allan Mathew
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