Coker breaks title fight Ryan Bader-Valentin Moldavsky Bellator

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Luge hasn’t been easy for Ryan Bader in recent years.

Bader lost the light heavyweight title to Bellator in August 2021 when he was knocked out by Vadim Nemkov. The former champion of both divisions was left with the heavyweight belt.

After beating Lyoto Machida in the light heavyweight tournament in a quest to reclaim the title, Bader was knocked out in just 51 seconds by Corey Anderson last October.

In the title photo for the moment at 205 pounds, Bader will put his heavyweight belt on the line for the first time since September 2019, when he retained the championship after an accidental glance left Cheick Kongo incapable to continue.

At Bellator 273 at the end of the month, Bader (28-7 MMA, 6-2 BMMA) meets challenger Valentin Moldavsky (11-1 MMA, 6-0 BMMA) in Bader’s hometown of Phoenix. Bellator president Scott Coker believes the stakes are high for Bader, especially as a loss will be his third in four fights – but will leave him without a title after a long run with two.

“” I feel like Ryan is in the foreground. He’s right up there, ”Coker recently told MMA Junkie. “The problem for Ryan is that we just added to our list, and the list is growing. This is the healthiest and best list we’ve ever had at Bellator. We just keep recruiting other guys and developing other guys to come and fight him. It was difficult for Ryan.

Coker said he expects the fight to play out as a clash of styles between the natural light heavyweights Bader and Moldavsky, who typically weigh around 235 pounds.

Coker believes Bader being a lighter heavyweight in fights against Muhammad Lawal, Matt Mitrione and Fedor Emelianenko played to his advantage – but the speed advantage was negated at the light heavyweights.

“Ryan at heavyweight for me has a speed advantage,” Coker said. “In the light heavyweight, he didn’t have the speed advantage with the two fights he lost. Let’s see what’s going on. But Moldavsky is no joke. This guy is tall. He is strong. He’s a big puncher and he’s going to try to come and instill his will in Ryan. It will be speed versus power, and that’s what I think is going to play out here.

“If Ryan stays on his toes and keeps moving and brings him down and controls, and basically passes him – speed is going to be the key here – I think he’s going to do just fine. And Moldavsky will try to knock him out. He’s going to have a different fight. I think he’s slower than Ryan, but he’s a big puncher and if he logs on I think that’s going to be a problem. But that’s my prediction for the fight. I think it will be speed against power. It will be the bull against the matador.

Twitter reacts to Corey Anderson’s quick TKO on Ryan Bader in Bellator 268 Grand Prix semi-finals

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