Ryan Bader Won’t Fight for Rizin Title, Eyes Bellator LHW Belt Defense Next

By Cole Shelton Nov 13, 2019

It appears Ryan Bader will not get his wish of fighting for the Rizin Fighting Federation light heavyweight title at the end of the year.

Bader, who is the current Bellator MMA light heavyweight and heavyweight champion, was looking to fight Jiri Prochazka at the Bellator-Rizin co-promoted show at the end of the year. Howver, he announced on Twitter that a deal could not be reached for him to fight for the Japanese organization’s belt.

“We tried hard but looks like fighting for the Rizin belt isn’t going to happen next,” Bader wrote. “Just couldn’t come to terms where it made sense. I’m looking to return to the [Bellator MMA] cage sometime in February. LHW”

At the end of the post, Bader implies that he wants to defend his light heavyweight belt next. He has not fought at 205 pounds since Bellator 186 in November 2017, when he defended the belt for the first time with a second-round stoppage of Linton Vassell. Since then, Bader has been competing at heavyweight, where he claimed the belt with a victory over Fedor Emelianenko in the finals of the Bellator grand prix. His first title defense against Cheick Kongo at Bellator 226 on Sept. 7 ended in a no contest due to an accidental eye poke.

It is not clear who would be Bader’s opponent for his next Bellator light heavyweight title defense.


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