This weekend, MMA is back in full action with UFC 224 as well as Bellator 199. Ahead of tomorrow night’s headline event between King Mo Lawal and Ryan Bader, Angelo Reyes sat down to talk about the Bellator fight as it finishes off the first round of the Heavyweight World Grand Prix. For those who know Reyes, Frank Mir’s striking coach, you know he tends to side with faster hands and better overall boxing skills. It probably shouldn’t shock anyone that King Mo appears to have that in spades over Bader.
“Its not that I don’t respect Ryan Bader, because I do,” Reyes pleaded.
“I just think this fight with King Mo they were supposed to have it a year ago. Now he’s going to fight a King Mo who doesn’t have a hip injury, who is ready to go balls to the wall. And you saw what King Mo did to Rampage with a hip injury.”
Conversely, Bader is on a two-fight Bellator win streak and you need to go back to 2016 to find a loss (1st rd. KO by Anthony Johnson at UFC on Fox 18). Though will the move from light heavyweight to heavyweight be difficult on the light heavyweight champion?
“Bader is moving up to heavyweight versus this is nothing new for King Mo, he did a heavyweight world Grand Prix in Japan,” Reyes stated.
So what does a striking coach with a background in boxing see in this fight? Reyes does know Lawal quite well and is rather versed on Lawal’s team.
“When we were in Chicago, there was a (boxing) card happening,” Reyes said.
“One of the fighters in there was Bryant Jennings. He was fighting heavyweight, I believe he won his fight (unanimous decision over Joey Dawejko). but King Mo was one of his main sparring partners for that fight. Thats a boxer fighting a ten-rounder using King Mo,” Reyes finished
He then went on to consider what Bader would have to do striking wise against Lawal.
“I don’t know who Ryan Bader has been sparring with striking wise but if its not of the caliber of those guys, then I’m just going to assume that King Mo’s timing for his hands, reading hands, counter hits, and hand speed are all going to be way higher level than Ryan Bader’s.”
All-in-all Reyes see’s Lawal making short work of Bader and getting a TKO-KO in the main event.