Bellator MMA President Scott Coker was in attendance at Bellator 214, where Ryan Bader defeated Fedor Emelianenko by first round knockout in the main event to win the Bellator Heavyweight World Grand Prix and also capture the Bellator Heavyweight Title.
The newly crowned heavyweight champion is now a double champion in Bellator MMA and Coker believes that makes him one of the top pound for pound fighters in the sport.
“I don’t know how you could (not put him on the list), he’s gotta be right up there in the two or three in my opinion. The guy is dangerous and I’m not even sure if I’m imagining this, but he seems like he’s becoming a better and better striker. The go to move to always go for the takedown, to shoot and go for the ground and pound…but now with the King Mo stoppage and this stoppage. I think he was setting him (Fedor Emelianenko) up with what he was hitting him with, he caught him and that was it. The guys a big strong man and with one punch, that one was over,” says Coker during the Bellator 214 post-fight press conference, which was attended by Fightful’s James Lynch.
Bader is also the Bellator Light Heavyweight Champion, as he defeated Phil Davis to win the gold at Bellator 180.
As far as what the future holds for Emelianenko, its a decision that Coker believes the fighter needs to make himself.
“That’s really up to him, that’s up to Fedor. I think that we had a relationship that lasted for many years, he fought for me back in Strikeforce. Fedor…he doesn’t have to fight again, he’s done it all. To me, he’s the greatest heavyweight of all time. He’s had such a great run, but really…it’s going to be up to him and he decides when to finally put it to rest,” says Coker.
Up next for Bellator MMA is Bellator 215 on Friday, February 15, which is going to be headlined by Matt Mitrione and Sergei Kharitonov.