Ryan Bader will finally defend his light heavyweight title.
Bader, who is the current Bellator light heavyweight and heavyweight champion has not fought at 205-pounds since November of 2017 when he defended the belt for the first time. Bader came into Bellator and earned an immediate title shot where he beat Phil Davis. He then defended the strap against Linton Vassell for the first and only time.
Since then, however, his next four fights have come at heavyweight in the heavyweight grand prix which he won and won the heavyweight title. He then fought Cheick Kongo in his first title defense but the fight ended in a no-contest. During that time, the light heavyweight division has been stagnant but he says he will defend the belt in April.
— Ryan Bader (@ryanbader) January 14, 2020
“About that time to get back after it! Getting lean and defending the 205 lb light heavyweight title in April. More news coming soon @bellatormma,” Ryan Bader tweeted.
Ryan Bader is undefeated in Bellator with wins over Fedor Emelianenko, Matt Mitrione, King Mo, and the two light heavyweight bouts. But, there is no doubt, the heavyweight division has more names and more opponents. But, it is about time Bader defends the light heavyweight belt.
Who Bader will defend the belt against is unknown. There are some logical options like Vadim Nemkov, Phil Davis, or Jiri Prochazka.
Nemkov is 11-2 as a pro and 4-0 in Bellator with wins over Davis, Liam McGeary, Phil Lins, and Rafael Carvalho. Three of those wins have come by stoppage in Bellator as well which would make this bout interesting.
Phil Davis, meanwhile, lost to Bader in 2017 but it was a split and since then he has gone 4-1 with his only loss to Nemkov but is riding a two-fight winning streak, where three of the four wins have come by stoppage.
Finally, Ryan Bader has made it known he wants to fight Jiri Prochzaka, where he wanted it to happen at the Bellator vs. RIZIN card. Yet, it never happened so Bader said he would want it to happen in Bellator.
Regardless of who it is, Ryan Bader has options for his title defense. But, the good news is, he is finally defending his light heavyweight title.