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Ryan Bader: Money-saving ‘Viacom doesn’t want to pay’ to keep Linton Vassell rematch intact — ‘They are out in October’

MMA: Bellator 186-Ryan Bader vs Linton Vassell Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports

More and more fuel keeps getting added to the fire that is the Bellator sale rumors.

The historical Bellator 300 event is set to go down in San Diego, Calif., this weekend (Sat., Oct. 7, 2023). Originally featuring four big world title fights, the promotion unfortunately lost its on-tap Heavyweight rematch after the challenger, Linton Vassell, fell ill.

Defending champion, Ryan Bader, recently addressed the news, voicing his displeasure and persistence to make up for the bout falling through.

“Bad news — my opponent pulled out of the Heavyweight world title fight,” Bader said on Instagram. “Apparently he was sick last week and is saying he cannot fight. We did our job, prepared, sacrificed many things last couple months, and are ready to show up. They are saying it’s off and replacement is highly unlikely. Sorry to everyone who purchased tickets, travel, hotel, etc. This is out of our control. We have tried and are trying everything to save it.”

Rumors of Bellator selling have swirled in recent months, possibly leading to an absorption by Professional Fighters League (PFL). Nothing has been publically made official just yet, but Bellator only has one show booked on the current schedule after Bellator 300.

Bader seemingly hinted at the company’s fold in light of his Vassell rematch falling through.

“We told Bellator we are good with anything and it looks like Viacom doesn’t want to pay,” Bader replied to a comment on his post. “They are out Oct and this falling through saves them money [shrug emoji].”

Bader, 40, currently rides a three-fight win streak, last retiring the legendary Fedor Emelianenko via first round technical knockout with ground-and-pound punches in Feb. 2023 (watch highlights).


To check out the latest Bellator MMA-related news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive news archive right here.

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