Ryan Bader On Fedor: ‘He Deserves’ The Spotlight
Even as reigning champion, Ryan Bader has no problem sharing the spotlight with Fedor for Bellator 290 Saturday night.
Ryan Bader understands why Fedor Emelianenko has been the talk of Bellator 290.
And as the reigning heavyweight champion, he is fine with it.
Bader defends his title Saturday night live on CBS against Fedor in what is scheduled to be the retirement fight for the legend.
“No, I’m not frustrated that the talk in the buildup to this fight is all about Fedor. He deserves it,” Bader said. “He’s a legend in this sport, and I respect that man and what he’s done for the sport. He’s a good human being. Don’t get it wrong.
“I know walking in there that I’d be doing the same watching Fedor’s last fight; I’d be cheering for him. I like to do that. I like seeing these legends go out on top. We’ve seen a couple of them retire in this last month.
“Make no mistake, 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 and spoil that party and do what I came here to do which is retain that belt, win that fight, and move on. There will be respect there no matter what.”
Bader, who first made a name for himself on The Ultimate Fighter, talked about this bout being on CBS.
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“Being on CBS was a big factor for me taking this fight,” he said. “I started to think through it a little bit and anytime you’re in a Fedor fight, it’s a huge fight. I’m proud to be part of his legacy and have him be part of mine. I came to this company for opportunity, like the Heavyweight Grand Prix and these kinds of big fights.
“It’s hard to turn down a Fedor fight. I didn’t necessarily know it’d be his last one right at the beginning, but it’s one of those things where I got more excited about it and when I finally put pen to paper, I was all in.
“I can’t wait for it to be on CBS. I’ve been waiting for this for a long time, and I’m excited to be back in there with a legend.”
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