Ryan Bader’s unique place within the promotion could lead to Bellator MMA’s first interim title.
Ryan Bader is the promotion’s reigning heavyweight champion but he is actively competing in Bellator’s light heavyweight Grand Prix.
The former dual division kingpin conquered Lyoto Machida on April 9th and tied up their series with each other. Bader’s redemptive win also sees him advancing to the next round of the Grand Prix.
Bellator MMA’s first interim title
Darth Bader seems to have no designs to give up the heavyweight belt as he proceeds forward in the 205-pound tournament.
Promotional figurehead Scott Coker offered up a solution for this situation. This came in the form of suggesting what would be a history-making move for the organization.
Coker stated, “Ryan’s obviously going to move forward in the tournament now. So we’re gonna most likely put together an interim title. We’ll have something to announce probably in a couple of weeks. Maybe even by next week’s event, we might have something to announce. But I think we’re gonna be heading in that direction now.”
Observing the last rankings update for Bellator, Timothy Johnson vs Valentin Moldavsky would make sense considering it pits the number one ranked contender versus the number three ranked contender, respectively.
Johnson is coming off of defeating the division’s number two contender Cheick Kongo. The victory came via split decision at Bellator 248 in October.
Moldavsky is riding a five-fight win streak after suffering his lone career loss to Amir Aliakbari during Rizin’s 2016 World Grand Prix. Through that stretch, he has put together notable wins over number six ranked Linton Vassell and number ten ranked Javy Ayala.
The last defense of the lineal heavyweight title came in an inauspicious affair between Ryan Bader and Cheick Kongo. The Bellator 226 contest was called off in the first round after an errant eye poke to Kongo in their September 2019 bout.
How do you feel about Bellator MMA mapping out a tentative plan for their first interim belt?