Ryan Bader defends and unifies heavyweight title at Bellator 273

Ryan Bader defends and unifies heavyweight title at Bellator 273

Live mixed martial arts action returns to us tonight from the Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona for Bellator 273.

Headlining the event is a heavyweight championship clash showcasing former Bellator light-heavyweight champion, and current heavyweight champion Ryan Bader, who faces interim champion Valentin Moldavsky in a title unification bout.

Co-headlining the event is former WEC & UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson, who faces Islam Mamedov tonight for the supposed No. 1 contendership at 155 lbs.

Going back to the main event, Ryan Bader hasn’t fought in the heavyweight division since September of 2019, having gone 1-2 at his original weight of 205 lbs in his absence. Moldavsky on the other hand is on a six-fight win streak following his split decision defeat to Amir Alakbari in December of 2016, going 6-0 in Bellator thus far.

Continue reading to see how this epic champion versus champion main event went down:

Official Result: Ryan Bader def. Valentin Moldavsky via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47)

Bader hurts Moldavsky badly with a hard overhand right followed by another right hand and comes very close to finishing the fight just 30 seconds in, though Moldavsky is able to weather the storm and take him down.

He makes his way back up however and lands a nasty elbow on the break that stumbled Moldavsky backward. Bader then secures a single leg takedown and remains on top for the remainder of round one.

Moldavsky controls Bader along the fence for the majority of round two, whilst securing a couple takedowns for good measure. Toward the end of the round he just starts dragging Bader around like a rag doll.

Moldavsky won the majority of round three with his control and takedowns, while Bader made a serious rally in the fourth, exhausting Moldavsky with his own takedowns.

Bader starts off round five well, though Moldavsky took the latter half of it.

This was an incredibly grueling, close fight.

Bader improves to 29-7 (1 NC), Moldavsky falls to 11-2.

It appears we’ll get a rematch between Bader and Cheick Kongo after all.

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Brady Ordway
I became a fan of combat sports when I was 12 years old. I was scrolling through the channels and landed upon Versus, where WEC was televised. Urijah Faber fought Jens Pulver for the second time that night. That's the first fight I ever saw, and I was immediately hooked. So eventually, I began covering the sport in the fourth quarter of 2018, and have since started writing about animals as well. If you'd like to see those pieces, be sure to check out learnaboutnature.com!