On Friday night at Bellator 207, Ryan Bader rode Matt Mitrione like a pony (Mitrione’s description, not ours) right into the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix finals. The winner not only gets some glory, but the Bellator heavyweight belt. For light heavyweight champ Bader, that would elevate him to that much hyped champ-champ status. And of course with Daniel Cormier over in the UFC champ-champing it up in the same divisions, fantasy talk of the two facing off was inevitable.
After outwrestling Mitrione so badly the scorecards read 30-25, 30-25, 30-24, Bader shared his thoughts on a good ol’ fashioned cross-promotional champion vs. champion fight with Cormier.
“I think I match up well with him, especially now,” Bader said (via MMA Fighting). “If I would’ve matched up with him five years ago I don’t think I’d do all that well. I think now I beat him. It’s just one of those things, it’s too bad it’ll never happen.”
”I’m a competitor. I want to be the best in the world. I’m not going to say, ‘Oh yeah, there’s another organization [with a better guy],’ you know. Taking nothing away from him, he’s a dominant champion. One of the best to ever do it. Of course I want it. But will that ever happen? No.”
While “DC” and Bader never fought during Ryan’s tenure in the UFC, they did come close in 2015, which kicked off this terse back and forth during a press conference.
”Not once did I say I didn’t want to fight Ryan Bader,” Cormier said angrily from the podium as Bader approached from the press floor. “I asked them to fight you because I wanted an easy paycheck ... I asked to fight you! They said ‘Daniel, what do you want?’ I said ‘The easiest fight in the division. I want Ryan Bader.’ Just give me my paychecks right now, Bader. Get your ass out of here, this is my press conference. Get the f**k outta here.”
That clip certainly gives a lot more context to this short but sweet social media message from Cormier, which may be why he included in his retweet:
Bader is killing it in bellator! It would have been a fun one ! https://t.co/kmi4VqUj3a— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) October 13, 2018
”Bader is killing it in Bellator!” Cormier wrote. “It would have been a fun one!”
Kindness or diss? We’ll let you Maniacs decide.