Ryan Bader


Tough break results in no-contest
September 8, 2019
Bader fought Cheick Kongo to a no-contest in their heavyweight title fight at Bellator 226 on Saturday in San Jose.
While Bader will retain his heavyweight championship, he won't get a win on his record due to the unfortunate outcome. This fight was Bader's from the opening bell, as a left hook hurt Kongo early and sent him backwards against the fence. Kongo tried to buy time with a takedown, but was stuffed. Bader responded with a takedown of his own, and eventually had Kongo mounted and was raining down shots. Unfortunately, one of those shots was an accidental eye gouge that rendered Kongo unable to see and forced the doctor to stop the bout. It's possible Bellator tries to run this one back as a result, but this was also a fight that looked pretty lopsided early.
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To defend title in San Jose
July 11, 2019
Bader will defend his Bellator Heavyweight Title against Cheick Kongo on Sept. 7, Greg Rosenstein of ESPN.com reports.
After announcing two months ago that he intends to remain in the heavyweight class to defend his title, he is getting the opportunity to do so in September at the Featherweight World Grand Prix. As expected, he'll be matched up with Kongo, who is currently riding an eight-fight winning streak under the promotion.
To continue in heavyweight division
May 9, 2019
Bader detailed via his personal Instagram account that he intends to remain at heavyweight and defend his title in August.
Bader currently holds the belt in both Bellator's 205-pound and heavyweight divisions, with the latter being earned with a win over Fedor Emelianenko in the Heavyweight Grand Prix Final. According to Ariel Helwani of ESPN, the promotion is targeting Cheick Kongo as his next opponent. Kongo is a former UFC heavyweight that is riding an eight-fight winning streak under the Bellator banner. While he was left out of the recent tournament, Kongo is coming off a unanimous-decision victory over former champion Vitaly Minakov in February. Bader would presumably enter as a betting favorite in that matchup, as would be the case against just about any heavyweight on the Bellator roster.
Stops legend at Bellator 214
January 26, 2019
Bader defeated Fedor Emelianenko via TKO (punches) at 0:35 of Round 1 at Bellator 214 on Saturday in Los Angeles.
After the entire tournament it all came down to the first punch landed by Bader. He came forward with a lead left hook. The punch connected and dropped Fedor. From there, he jumped on top and finished the fight. Bader left the UFC in 2016 even though he had won seven of his last eight fights. He continued his winning ways in Bellator. In the promotion, he has now won all five of his fights and captured both the light heavyweight and heavyweight titles. He was absolutely dominant through his entire run through the Bellator heavyweight tournament, and there will be no shortage of challengers for both of his titles.
Dominates Matt Mitrione on the ground for three rounds in the main event of Bellator 207 and advances in the heavyweight tournament
October 12, 2018
Bader defeated Matt Mitrione via unanimous decision (20-25, 30-24, 30-25) at Bellator 207 on Friday in Uncasville, Conn.
Pretty everyone knew that wrestling was going to be a big storyline in this fight. Bader has always excelled when he has been able to force his opponents into grappling exchanges. On the other hand, Mitirione admittedly hates fighting on the ground. Well, in this fight, Bader had very little trouble taking him down. He was able to execute takedowns in all three rounds and spent the majority of those rounds on the ground. Mitrione's strong wrist control kept him from eating tons of punishment on the ground, but he was still being beat up on the ground throughout the contest. Mitrione simply did not have any answers for the wrestling and ground control. Bader moves on to face the winner of the Chael Sonnen-Fedor Emelianenko fight, and he will likely be the favorite against either opponent.
Only needs 15 seconds to advance in Bellator heavyweight tournament
May 12, 2018
Bader defeated Muhammed Lawal via KO (punches) at 0:15 of Round 1 at Bellator 199 on Saturday in San Jose, Calif.
Bader continued his run of success with a 15-second knockout over Muhammed Lawal in the first round of the Bellator heavyweight tournament. The UFC veteran has gone 3-0 and captured the promotion's light heavyweight title since joining Bellator last year. This bout was expected to be a close contest since both fighters are accomplished 205-pound fighters. However, Bader landed a quick counter hook and the fight was over. Bader moves on in the tournament, and he will face Matt Mitrione in the semifinals. Mitrione defeated Roy Nelson in February to earn his spot in the second round. Bader has now won 10 of his last 11 bouts with his only defeat during the stretch coming against Anthony Johnson at UFC on FOX 18 in 2016.