Will Fedor Emelianenko declare gold in his retirement struggle?

MMA Junkie analyst Dan Tom breaks down the UFC’s high bouts. As we speak, we have a look at the principle occasion for Bellator 290.

Bellator 290 takes place Saturday at Kia Discussion board in Inglewood, Calif. The primary card airs on CBS following prelims on MMA Junkie.

Ryan Bader (30-7 MMA, 10-2 BMMA)

Staple information:

  • Peak: 6’2″ Age: 39 Weight: 232 lbs. Attain: 74″

  • Final struggle: Decision win over Cheick Kongo (Might 6, 2022)

  • Camp: Energy MMA Staff (Arizona

  • Stance/hanging fashion: Orthodox/kickboxing

  • Threat administration: Good

Supplemental information:

+ Bellator heavyweight champion

+ Former Bellator mild heavyweight champ

+ 2x Division I All-American wrestler

+ 3x Pac-10 champion

+ Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt

+ 12 knockout victories

+ 3 submission wins

+ 10 first-round finishes

+ KO energy

+ Good cardio and conditioning

+ Improved hanging and footwork

^ Correct left hand

+ Wonderful wrestling skill

^ Explosive power-double takedown

+ Good transitional grappler

^ Stable positional consciousness and rides

+/- 4-0 in profession rematches

Fedor Emelianenko (40-6 MMA, 4-2 BMMA)

Staple information:

  • Peak: 6’0″ Age: 46 Weight: 233 lbs. Attain: 76″

  • Final struggle: Knockout win over Tim Johnson (Oct. 23, 2021)

  • Camp: Fedor Staff (Russia)

  • Stance/hanging fashion: Orthodox/kickboxing

  • Threat administration: Honest

Supplemental information:

+ A number of MMA championships

^ Pleasure, Strikeforce, Rings, WAMMA

+ FIAS world fight sambo titles

+ Grasp of Sports activities in judo and sambo

+ 16 KO victories

+ 15 submission wins

+ 28 first-round finishes

+ KO energy

+ Aggressive tempo and strain

+ Harmful proper hand

^ Coming ahead or off the counter

+ Sturdy within the clinch

^ Strikes nicely off the breaks

+ Good transitional grappler

^ Artful submissions and scrambles

+ Wonderful floor striker

+/- 3-0-1 in profession rematches

Focal point: Putting the second time round

The primary occasion for Bellator 290 incorporates a rematch for the heavyweight title between sitting champion [autotag]Ryan Bader[/autotag] and the legendary [autotag]Fedor Emelianenko[/autotag].

Their first assembly again in 2019 didn’t final lengthy, as Bader was in a position to catch Emelianenko flush together with his first hook off of a jab within the opening thirty seconds of the struggle. Maybe it’s the frustration of not having the ability to get something going, however this outing seems to have stung Emelianenko on a aggressive degree on condition that the Russian legend has been deadset on working this again.

In Emelianenko’s protection, the fashion archetype is one that he’s each accustomed to and has historically gotten wins in opposition to. Whether or not we’re speaking about post-prime victories over Chael Sonnen and Tim Johnson or Emelianenko’s heyday in PRIDE Combating Championships, The Final Emperor’s all-terrain preventing fashion can create a tough night time on the workplace for a lot of.

A sambo champion who stormed the Japanese MMA scene within the early 2000s, violence has at all times been the tried and true theme all through all of the iterations of Emelianenko’s profession.

Setting an aggressive tempo and strain that’s nearly palpable, Emelianenko will come ahead behind feints that make area appear fleeting. Pawing together with his left-hand lackadaisically whereas sustaining a deadpan stare in his face, the 23-year professional retains his proper hand cocked and able to launch.

As soon as in a position to get a chew from his opponent, Emelianenko will crash the space with casting-style punches together with his counterpart, one thing that helps him compensate for his attain. This method, nonetheless, additionally makes for unforgiving collisions, a road that runs two methods in MMA.

Enter Bader.

Initially stepping onto the scene as a heavy-handed wrestler, Bader has slowly advanced right into a well-rounded, stick-and-move stylist. Since his time spent working with hanging coach Chaz Turner, we’ve seen reliable enhancements in Bader’s strategies.

With a concentrate on opening up Bader’s hips and stance, the two-time All-American wrestler has proven to extra fluidly hit and transfer whereas stringing his strikes collectively.

As we noticed in Bader’s struggle with Valentin Moldavsky, the previous UFC fighter can clearly damage heavyweights together with his large proper hand. That mentioned, I think that an lively lead hand will nonetheless be essential on this second go-around with Emelianenko.

Quietly creating an lively and correct left hand, Bader has been in a position to bludgeon the eyes of each Phil Davis and Rashad Evans with jabs, in addition to drop Emelianenko and Muhammed Lawal with authoritative left hooks en path to successful the promotion’s heavyweight grand prix.

However, Bader continues to be not past being timed and countered on the toes – so I’ll be curious to see how lengthy he intends to face this Saturday.

Focal point: Potential grappling threats

Provided that Emelianenko has been getting most of his work completed within the hanging division, nobody needs to be shocked if Bader elects to strap on his wrestling sneakers this weekend.

The Pac-10 champion has no challenge in returning to his base when he must, which might in all probability be the smarter highway in opposition to a risk like Emelianenko. Bader has an explosive energy double-leg takedown that he at all times retains in his again pocket and is greater than able to scoring or reversing from the clinch (because the American just isn’t past hitting hip tosses of his personal).

Nonetheless, as an acclaimed sambo stylist, Emelianenko will probably have one thing to say inside of those areas.

The Russian at all times has deceptively robust hips to close down takedown makes an attempt, one thing that was final on show reverse Chael Sonnen. Emelianenko may also nonetheless threaten the occasional uchi mata (hip toss) or foot sweep from the clinch, but it surely’s normally utilized within the spirit of a Whizzer-kick as a way to create area and strike off the breaks.

Even in PRIDE, lots of Emelianenko’s grappling got here off chaotic scrambles that noticed him reverse positions (in addition to fortunes) within the blink of a watch. Nonetheless, these very abilities of making and capitalizing within scrambles can be one thing that Emelianenko might want to present continues to be intact this Saturday if he means to remain off the mat.

When shedding wrestling stanzas previously, Emelianenko traditionally has been in a position to make the most of his under-sized heavyweight body via explosive hip actions that allowed him to create area or safe armlocks. The issue, sadly, is that Emelianenko has been reluctant to exhibit a lot of those abilities in recent times (making me marvel what’s left in that regard).

Emelianenko was in a position to present some stable reversals and temporary flashes of his vaunted ground-and-pound in his previously-mentioned assembly with Sonnen, I simply suspect that the 46-year-old can be taking part in with fireplace if he appears to grapple with Bader for extended situations.

A superb positional participant, Bader likes to earn management time via punishing rides that enable him to placed on beatings that make some opponents appear like a online game character whose operator momentarily stepped away from the controller.

Using cross-wrist rides (or “Dagestani handcuffs”) to safe UFC wins nicely earlier than Khabib Nurmagomedov was popularizing these strategies within the octagon, Bader has been quietly persevering with to sharpen his floor recreation underneath the care of fourth-degree Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Jair Lourenco.

Focal point: Odds and opinions

The oddsmakers and public are siding with the youthful man, itemizing Bader -260 and Emelianenko +200 by way of Tipico Sportsbook.

Though I don’t disagree with who’s favored, it’s good to see the playing public giving some respect to the possibilities of Emelianenko.

Positive, Emelianenko might have a ton of miles on him at 46 years of age, however the Russian legend nonetheless exhibits indicators of life in his most up-to-date pattern sizes (as restricted as they might be). The truth is, one might argue that teaching and coaching alongside younger lions like Vadim Nemkov and others have helped extend the superior levels of Emelianenko’s profession.

Emelianenko might not be capable of maintain the tempo or impression that served as hellish pathways for lots of his prime success, however he nonetheless appears to hold simply sufficient of the misleading pace and athleticism from his youth to remain harmful early in opposition to lots of the heavyweights he encounters.

Most significantly, Emelianenko is already used to preventing as an older man – – one thing that Bader should be grappling with.

Bader, by his personal admission, has already aged out of sunshine heavyweight, dedicating himself to the heavyweight division from right here on out. Bader continues to be in a position to out-wrestle larger males to a call if want be, however even his vaunted cardio seems extra inclined to flagging at this weight class.

Although I do imagine that is one thing to maintain a watch out for in regard to Bader’s future, I don’t suspect that it impacts the dynamic of this struggle an excessive amount of.

As somebody who already is aware of to not count on the identical struggle twice in MMA, I believe that this battle comes all the way down to who can execute higher within the first body.

If Bader tries to recreate his glory from that previous struggle, then he’ll give Emelianenko the precise home windows he must catch the American clear early (which is how Bader has sometimes fallen). But when Bader fights sensible and appears to power Emelianenko to grapple, then I can see the sitting champion drowning his legendary counterpart with positional rides and punishing strikes down the stretch.

The old-school MMA fan inside me will completely be cheering for certainly one of my all-time favorites Emelianenko on struggle night time. I as an analyst, nonetheless, will formally be choosing Bader to power a merciful stoppage by the tip of the third spherical.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie

Previous post Silent Witness upsets islanders with fictional location title
Next post Regulus Stories All Remaining Holes From 2022 Drill Marketing campaign and Broadcasts Completion of Colquirrumi Claims Earn-In