Ryan Bader set to defend Bellator light heavyweight title against Vadim Nemkov

Ryan Bader says Bellator World Light Heavyweight Grand Prix winner “has a claim” to be best in the world at 205lbs

Bellator champion Ryan Bader believes that the winner of the Bellator World Light Heavyweight Grand Prix will be the best fighter in the world at 205lbs.

Bader takes on Machida in the opening round of the tournament, one that Bellator president Scott Coker has said will help determine the best fighter in the world at 205lbs. Considering the tournament has talented fighters such as former UFC stars Anthony Johnson and Yoel Romero littered throughout it, not to mention Bellator’s own light heavyweight champion Vadim Nemkov, there is the case to be made that the winner should be in that discussion. Most would say UFC light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz is in the lead, but Bader is confident the winner of this upcoming, star-studded tournament that kicks off Friday at Bellator 256 is up there, as well.  

“The winner of this Grand Prix legitimately has a claim to the best light heavyweight in the world. This Grand Prix is stacked. This division is stacked. Man, so many great matchups, so many great fighters in this. It’s going to be fun to watch, not only for the fans but for us too,” Bader told TMZ Sports.

“Yeah, I definitely do (think the winner is in the discussion),” added Bader. “You can’t say that none of us in this tournament can’t go and beat Jan in the UFC or anything like that. I know Corey (Anderson) has (fought him), he lost to him also. Especially styles, there’s a lot of wrestlers in this tournament. I definitely feel there’s a claim that the best light heavyweight (is the winner). We will ever see it? Probably not, there’s not going to be cross-promotion or anything like that. But as I said earlier, you cannot legitimately say we cannot go and beat Jan. So yeah, it’s definitely all up for discussion and people like to talk about it, but we like to go out there and win and have that belt, and that’s all we care about.”

Do you agree with Ryan Bader that the winner of the Bellator World Light Heavyweight Grand Prix is the best in the world at 205lbs?

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Adam Martin
MMA journalist, podcast host, and handicapper for MyMMANews.com, MMAoddsbreaker.com, and Bookies.com. MMAOB Daily Podcast host. Join me LIVE @ 5 pm EST every Monday for my live free podcast. Over 10 years of experience writing about MMA. I love this sport.