The two-division champion Ryan Bader will finally defend his Light heavyweight belt against Vadim Nemkov at Bellator 244 on August 21 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. After a 4 month halt in fights, Bellator and other sporting events have started to come back slowly. After a successful Bellator 242, the promotion is racking up its fight cards with exciting fights.
Ryan Bader last defended his Light heavyweight belt in November 2017 where he TKO’ed Linton Vassell in the second round. Since then, he moved up to the Heavyweight division to fight against greats like Muhammed Laval and Matt Mitrione. In the Heavyweight World Grand Prix finale, he faced and successfully defended his belt against arguably the greatest Heavyweight ever, Fedor Emelianenko.
“I’m excited about it,” Ryan told ESPN. “There was a lack of options where I thought I was going to fight at heavyweight again, but they can get him into the country [from Russia], and that’s the fight. He definitely deserves a title shot at light heavyweight. It’s one of those fights I’ve been looking at for a long time. It’s an intriguing fight and I’m ready to go down and defend.”
— Ryan Bader (@ryanbader) July 30, 2020
I obviously want to keep both of these belts. I can bounce back and forth pretty easily. For me, right now I’d like to defend the belt at 205 and fight again at 205, while my body is primed for that weight. It’s been some years since I’ve been down there, due to no fault on my side they just asked me to come do this heavyweight tournament and defend the heavyweight title right after the Grand Prix. I’d like to get a couple fights at 205. Go out there, beat Nemkov, then turn around and give Machida a title shot, get that loss back. I’d also like to fight in Japan, fight for the Rizin FF belt, finish the year with three belts.“, said Ryan
His opponent and challenger Vadim Nemkov is on a 4 fight win streak in Bellator. Having trained with Fedor, Nemkov has had great wins in the division, in phenomenal fashion. The current matchup was planned for May but had to be canceled because of the lockdown.
Can Ryan Bader defend the world title?
After a 3 year gap in the Light heavyweight division, to fight an active fighter on a winning streak like Nemkov is quite courageous on the part of Ryan. It will be interesting to see if he still has that spark in the division.
Do you think he will be able to retain the title?