INGLEWOOD, California – Ryan Bader could be the first simultaneous champion of two divisions in MMA that would give him a realistic opportunity to defend the two titles.
Bader (27-5 MMA, 5-0 BMMA) added the heavyweight title of Bellator along with his lightweight belt to Bellator 214 on Saturday when he scored a brutal 35 minute end of Fedor Emelianenko (38-6 MMA , 2-2 BMMA) to win the great heavyweight prize. The fight directed the Paramount and DAZN card to The Forum in Inglewood, Calif.
Although simultaneous championships have been more frequent under the UFC banner in recent years, this is the first time that has happened with Bellator. However, company president Scott Coker sees the potential of an unprecedented scenario, in which Bader can defend both straps as long as possible.
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"This will be up to Ryan provided we do not have the heavy heavyweight (title header) stuck," Coker told reporters, including MMAjunkie, after the fight against Bellator 214. "If Gegard (Mousasi) – because he told me who wants to move forward and Lyoto (Machida) might want to move forward at some point and fight against Bader in 205. While these struggles are not right on the road, we will give you a little margin for maneuver to say: "Hello, if you want to defend the heavy weight, then you can do it ".
"Then he will come back and there. But I think that, at some point, there will be a bottle neck, and then we will make a business decision."
With Bader gaining control over two weight classes with Bellator, he is in a position to see several positions options for his next fight.
At 205 pounds, there is no clear contender. Chael Sonnen called for a shot after Bellator 214, and Coker confirmed the winner of the Bellator 216 match between former Vitaly Minakov (21-0 MMA, 5-0 BMMA) and Cheick Kongo (29-10-2 MMA , 11-2 BMMA) is the next in heavy weight.
There are some key decisions that must be taken forward, but if there is something that Coker is sure, it is that his champion-champion Bader is among the best MMA fighters.
"He must be here in the best two or three (pounds per pound) in my opinion," Coker said. The boy is dangerous. I'm not even sure if I imagine, but it seems that it is becoming a better and better striker, since the play to go has always gone through the withdrawal … the arrest of "King Mo" And this unemployment, I think he was preparing what hit him, and he was surprised, and that was. These guys are big and strong men and a punch and it's over. "
For complete coverage of Bellator 214, see the section of MMA events on the site.