Current Bellator MMA Heavyweight champion, Ryan Bader, will return to action this Saturday (Jan. 29, 2022) when he takes on interim titleholder, Valentin Moldavsky, in a title unification bout at Bellator 273 in Phoenix, Arizona.
But, during a recent media day to promote the bout, “Darth” couldn’t escape questions about the possibility of a future showdown against the current Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) 265-pound kingpin, Francis Ngannou. While most of these scenarios are usually never realistic, a fight against “The Predator” isn’t so far-fetched because of his current beef with UFC’s payscale.
Should Ngannou sit out the full year his contract requires him to do to be free from the promotion — or fight three times in that span — the hard-hitting big man can sign with anyone who can meet his contract demands. For Bader, Ngannou coming over to Bellator for a showdown against him would be a welcomed sight.
“Yeah, he is a scary dude.... But, we are here for a reason, to get out there and get the biggest fights, and that would be a massive fight,” Bader said before talking about the vast opportunities fighters like Ngannou now have to explore options.
“I love the opportunity for fighters that we have now as far as there is other stuff out there. We can branch out and do different things. There is a lot of bigger organizations, not just one. So I am loving how the landscape is looking for fighters,” he concluded.
Ngannou recently revealed that he would be going under the knife to repair ligament damage he suffered in the lead up to his own title unification fight against Ciryl Gane, which he won at UFC 270 earlier this month (Jan. 22, 2022) in Anaheim, California (see it here). That surgery will require him to sit out for at least 10 months.
In the meantime, I’m sure his team and UFC officials will be trying to hash out a new deal that will keep the knockout artist on the roster for a long time. If not, then I’m sure Scott Coker and Co. will gladly take a sit-down with the big man.
After he’s completely free and clear, of course.