Ryan Bader
Darth
To continue in heavyweight division
HeavyweightBellator
May 9, 2019
Bader detailed via his personal Instagram account that he intends to remain at heavyweight and defend his title in August.
ANALYSIS
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.
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Stops legend at Bellator 214
HeavyweightBellator
January 26, 2019
Bader defeated Fedor Emelianenko via TKO (punches) at 0:35 of Round 1 at Bellator 214 on Saturday in Los Angeles.
ANALYSIS
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
HeavyweightBellator
October 12, 2018
Bader defeated Matt Mitrione via unanimous decision (20-25, 30-24, 30-25) at Bellator 207 on Friday in Uncasville, Conn.
ANALYSIS
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
HeavyweightBellator
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.
ANALYSIS
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.
Will compete at Bellator World Grand Prix
HeavyweightBellator
November 19, 2017
Bader will join seven competitors battling for the Bellator heavyweight title at The Bellator World Grand Prix 2018 Heavyweight Tournament. He will face "King Mo" Lawal in May in San Jose, Calif.
ANALYSIS
Bader (24-5) recently defended his Bellator light heavyweight title and is looking to expand his collection with this tourney. He has fought three times under the promotional banner and at one time in his career held a 12-fight winning streak. With a background in wrestling and having competed against top opponents like Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Rashad Evan, he'll look to take his game to another level in 2018. He will compete for the title alongside Quinton Jackson, Roy Nelson, Chael Sonnen, Frank Mir, "King Mo," Fedor Emelianenko and Matt Mitrione.
Defends Bellator light heavyweight title with second-round stoppage
HeavyweightBellator
November 3, 2017
Bader defeated Linton Vassell via TKO (punches) at 3:58 of Round 2 at Bellator 186 on Friday in New York City.
ANALYSIS
Bader successfully defended his light heavyweight title with a vintage performance. He mixed up his striking and wrestling on the way to a second-round stoppage. In the first round, Bader scored a variety of takedowns and did some solid striking in the clinch. In the second round, he locked down one of Vassell's arms with wrist control and proceeded to punch with the other hand until the referee stopped the bout. Bader has now won three straight fights and nine of his last ten. It will be interesting to see who Bellator matches him up with next. There are several other light heavyweight contenders in the promotion such as Liam McGeary, Chael Sonnen, Vadim Nemkov and Phil Davis.