Ryan Bader dominates Cheick Kongo, defends HW title at Bellator 280

Bellator Fighting Championships returns to us tonight, May 6, 2022, for Bellator 280, going down live from the AccorHotels Arena in Paris, France.

Headlining the event is a heavyweight championship rematch between Bellator heavyweight champion Ryan Bader and Cheick Kongo, nearly three years after their first fight ended in a very anticlimactic no contest.

Since then, Bader went 1-2 down at 205 lbs, losing his light-heavyweight title in the process, though he avenged his defeat to former UFC champion Lyoto Machida in that one victory. However, he is coming off a win, and title defense since moving back up to heavyweight, having defeated Valentin Moldavsky in January.

Kongo on the other hand has gone just 1-1 since then, losing a very close split decision to Tim Johnson, and having submitted Sergei Kharitonov in his last outing last August.

Click here for Bellator 280 results

Continue reading to see how this championship rematch went down:

Official Result: Ryan Bader def. Cheick Kongo via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)

Bader opens up the bout with a furious pace, as Kongo is forced backward.

A whole 30 seconds goes by before this looks exactly like their first encounter, as Bader has Kongo up against the fence, before securing a takedown.

Bader remains on top of Kongo, grinding on him throughout the first.

Bader begins to press Kongo once the second round begins as well, but Kongo is able to fight it off for a time. He throws some heavy punches in attempt to knock the pursuing Bader out, and lands a couple, but is unable to and gets taken down again.

The remainder of the second, and the first three minutes of the third was more of the same, though Kongo was able to stay on his feet the last 90 seconds or so of the round.

It still appears he’s down 30-27 however, he certainly needs a finish to win this fight.

Kongo commits to a combination early on in the fourth and Bader capitalizes beautifully with a double leg, forcing Kongo to his back immediately. Kongo is able to get up a couple minutes later, but is still being controlled. He’s really been dominated throughout this entire fight.

After another clear 10-9 for Bader in the fifth, and he makes the second successful defense of his heavyweight crown.

Ryan Bader remains undefeated (4-0, 1 NC) as a heavyweight.

Who would you like to see get the next crack at the heavyweight title?

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