Bellator 214 Report: Ryan Bader stops Fedor, Jake Hager wins debut

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Welcome to our coverage of Bellator 214 from The Forum in Inglewood, California.

*Adel Altamimi def. Brandon McMahon by armbar at 1:16 of Round 1
*Juan Archuleta def. Ricky Bandejas by unanimous decision (29-28 all)
*Jake Hager def. J.W. Kiser by arm-triangle choke at 2:09 of Round 1
*Henry Corrales def. Aaron Pico by knockout at 1:07 of Round 1
*Ryan Bader def. Fedor Emelianenko by knockout at 0:35 of Round 1 to win the Heavyweight Grand Prix

Adel Altamimi vs. Brandon McMahan – Featherweight

Actor Chris Pratt accompanied Altamimi to the cage.

Altamimi went for a kimura early and turned to an armbar and got the tap following a brief clinch against the cage.

WINNER: Adel Altamimi by armbar at 1:16 of Round 1

Altamimi mentioned his father is fighting cancer and did this for his father.

Ricky Bandejas vs. Juan Archuleta – Bantamweight

Archuleta immediately took control from behind. Archuleta entered and was hit with a kick. Archuleta responded with a counter right was showcasing more speed. Archuleta scored a takedown at the end of the round and took it 10-9.

Chuck Liddell and Dan Henderson were shown in the crowd.

In the second round, Archuleta was shooting and forcing Bandejas to defend his takedown attempts while landing isolated shots. Archuleta got back control while standing but couldn’t take him down. It was a closer round, but I have Archuleta up 20-18.

Bandejas rocked Archuleta with a knee strike and was his best strike of the fight so far. Archuleta shot it and slammed Bandejas down. Bandejas landed strikes to the side of the head as Archuleta was trying to take him down against the cage. Bandejas landed a combination and side kick to the body. Bandejas won the round, but I have it 29-28 for Archuleta.

WINNER: Juan Archuleta by unanimous decision (29-28 all)

This was Archuleta’s 17th straight win and improves to 22-1 and undefeated fighting for Bellator.

This was a very good fight involving two notable bantamweights in the promotion.

They announced a card for San Jose, California at the SAP Center on April 27th. The card will feature Rory MacDonald fighting Jon Fitch in the Welterweight Grand Prix with MacDonald’s title on the line. The co-feature is Ilima Lei-Macfarlane defending the flyweight title against Veta Arteaga.

Jake Hager vs. J.W. Kiser – Heavyweight

Ron Killings came out with Hager for his entrance.

Hager took Kiser down by the fence and got into half-guard. Hager started landing elbows on top. Hager then applied an arm-triangle choke and got the tap while in Kiser’s half-guard.

WINNER: Jake Hager by arm-triangle choke at 2:09 of Round 1

After the fight, Hager said Bellator would be his life “for the next decade”, which is a long time.

Aaron Pico vs. Henry Corrales – Featherweight

Pico dropped him with a right uppercut in the first minute and charged at him. Pico attacked with shots to the body, but Corrales responded with a right hand on the chin that dropped Pico and put him out with several follow-up shots.

WINNER: Henry Corrales by KO at 1:07 of Round 1

This was an enormous win for Corrales and his fifth straight in Bellator as he improves to 17-3 in his career.

Corrales said he is ready for the title. He fought champion Patricio “Pitbull” Freire in April 2016 with Pitbull submitting Corrales and that his last loss before this current win streak.

This was an enormous win for Corrales and his fifth straight in Bellator as he improves to 17-3 in his career.

Fedor Emelianenko vs. Ryan Bader – Heavyweight Grand Prix Final

The audience was electric when the fight began with lots of chants for Emelianenko.

Bader dropped him with a lead left, Emelianenko went down. He was done as Bader went to land more on top as referee Mike Beltran stopped the fight.

WINNER: Ryan Bader by KO at 0:35 of Round 1 to win the Heavyweight Grand Prix and become the Bellator heavyweight champion

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Hager looked really good nice takedown and submission. But he needs to drop the we the people stuff already.

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This has been a very well paced card. One of my biggest issues with Bellator is usally the pacing but it hasn’t been a problem at all for me tonight.

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An early KO of the year contender for Henry Corrales

Man pico got rocked.

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I’m really trying to make a “Pico-gram” joke but it’s not coming to me right now lol.

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More like pico-slam

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This Grand Prix tournament was a good idea just took to long to get to the finals.

I think this one was ok. One year isn’t crazy but the hype that surrounded the prix when it was announced definitely isn’t where it was.

Just wait until that welterweight tourney wraps up in 2022 lol.

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Bader won that tournament in a little over min right?

Mitrione went the distance, but Bader should of got a 10-8 every round. Tournament was way too easy for him.

Pico…a tale of too much too fast. Needed to improve his striking defence before they ever put him out there imo.

Swagger protected the business brother, but like Pico…don’t throw him out there against killers.

And Fedor was just sad, stop booking him. He got dropped by an overhand jab, a lazy one at that.

And Bader is a double champ…whoop dee frigging doo…he won the worst booked tournament since the early UFC’s.

He is still a gatekeeper in the big leagues.