#Alexa Grasso #Tatiana Suarez #Demian Maia #Kamaru Usman #Fight Night London #Enrique Barzola #Brandon Davis #Claudio Puelles #UFC 224 #Brandon Moreno #Alexandre Pantoja #Andrea Lee #Veronica Macedo #Jared Cannonier #Dominick Reyes

Champ Ryan Bader reveals planned weight for Bellator heavyweight tourney

Ryan Bader will compete up a weight class for the first time in his career when he participates in the Bellator Heavyweight World Grand Prix. He said he’s doing everything he can to be properly prepared for it.

Bader (24-5 MMA, 2-0 BMMA), the reigning Bellator light heavyweight champion, has never fought outside his natural weight class before. The opportunity to join the eight-man, single elimination tournament was too hard to resist, though, because it gives “Darth” a chance to become the organization’s first simultaneous two-division champ.

With his opening round bout scheduled against Muhammed Lawal (21-6 MMA, 10-4 BMMA) at May’s Bellator 199 event, Bader said he’s already getting his body ready for the adjustment and even has a targeted weight in mind for when he steps in the cage.

“I’m putting on a little muscle because I don’t have to worry about making weight, obviously,” Bader told MMAjunkie. “I’m a solid three to five pounds heavier and I’ll carry that through camp; that’s the difference. When I’m making 205 I have to go heavy on strength and conditioning and get down to like the 220 mark to make weight. We’ll keep pushing hard, keep that weight on and plan to be 230, 233 when I get in there.”

Bellator 199 will take place May 12 at SAP Center in San Jose, Calif. Bader vs. Lawal headlines the Paramount-televised main card following prelims streamed on MMAjunkie.

For Bader, it’s important not to bulk up too much for his matchup with Lawal. “King Mo” has plenty of heavyweight experience, but Bader expects to have some physical advantages he wants to maximize. He doesn’t want to go overboard, though, because a second-round fight against Matt Mitrione (13-5 MMA, 4-0 BMMA), who is the arguably the biggest competitor remaining the tournament, is on deck.

“He’s probably the smallest guy I’ve ever fought, let alone in a heavyweight tournament,” Bader said. “He’s the smallest guy I’ve ever fought, ever. Weight’s not a big deal there, but moving on to the next round with Mitrione, he’s a big dude. But at the same time you want to have your cardio up. You want to be quick and agile. So it’s a fine line there.”

Bader said the additional freedom when it comes to his weight is a big deal. However, he also said he’s a benefactor of all tournament fights outside the final being scheduled for three rounds. Between his UFC career and his Bellator run, Bader has been scheduled for five rounds in four of his past five bouts, and reducing it to three is significant, he said.

With less time to work, Bader said he intends on “really pushing” himself in every fight. He’s confident he can work his way through the tournament and reach the finals – hopefully for his “fairytale” matchup with Fedor Emelianenko – and claim another Bellator belt. What comes after that remains to be seen, but Bader has every bit of confidence he can do something unprecedented starting at Bellator 199.

“I like to be active, so I would definitely like to defend both those belts, the heavyweight championship and the light heavyweight championship,” Bader said. “Then we’ll decide from there. I don’t think it can realistically play out, defending both in both divisions, but I definitely want to try to keep both of them and defend both of them. Then I’m definitely a light heavyweight, so I’ll stay there. But who knows how it’s going to look at the end of this thing after everything transpires.”

For more on Bellator 199, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.


Show Comments

Related News

Frank Mir sees clear path to tourney title if he gets past Fedor Emelianenko at Bellator 198

  • 27 days ago

Frank Mir won’t look past Fedor Emelianenko, but if he wins at Bellator 198, he sees himself as the frontrunner in the Bellator tournament. read news >>

PFL's $1 million tourneys may not lure Bellator's Michael Chandler, but Rizin FF could

  • 26 days ago

As far as free agents go, former Bellator champion and longtime 155-pound standout Michael Chandler could soon become a hot property. read news >>

Fans invited to weigh-ins, Chael Sonnen/Frank Mir comedy show at Bellator 198

  • 26 days ago

If you’re heading to “The Windy City” for this week’s Bellator 198 card, you have some fight-week events available to attend. read news >>

Watch Bellator 198 standout John Salter tear through Jason Radcliffe in Israel

  • 26 days ago

Ahead of his fight at Bellator 198, watch John Salter rip through his seventh straight opponent, and sixth in the first round. read news >>

Milestone Bellator 200 lineup finalized; Mirko Cro Cop vs. Roy Nelson headlines

  • 26 days ago

The big men are getting top billing over a title fight for Bellator’s milestone 200th event in London on May 25. read news >>

Complete Line-Up for Bellator 200 Event in London Finalized | MMAWeekly.com

  • 26 days ago

The full slate of fights for the historic Bellator 200 event on Friday, May 25 are complete. In all, 18 bouts will emanate at The SSE Arena, Wembley in London and air on Paramount Network at 9 p.m. E read news >>

Junior dos Santos Happy 'Nightmare is Finally Over' After USADA Resolves Doping Case | MMAWeekly.com

  • 27 days ago

Junior dos Santos is finally ready to resume his fight career after he sat out since last year awaiting word from USADA after her tested positive for a banned substance. read news >>

Bellator and WSOF Veteran Alexis Vila Arrested on Murder Charge | MMAWeekly.com

  • 27 days ago

Bellator and World Series of Fighting veteran Alexis Vila is in a Miami-Dade County jail in Florida, charged with murder. The 47-year-old Vila, according to Miami-Dade records, was arrested on April read news >>

After motorcycle accident, Bellator's Daniel Straus was told he may not walk; he plans to fight in 2018

  • 27 days ago

Not long after former Bellator champion Daniel Straus got into a bad motorcycle accident, the presumption was he never would fight again. He might not even walk. read news >>

Julia Budd-Talita Nogueira title fight, Eduardo Dantas-Michael McDonald top Bellator 204 lineup

  • 27 days ago

Bellator women’s featherweight champion Julia Budd has her next title defense lined up for July’s Bellator 204 event. read news >>

PFL 1 lineup is set; 24 familiar names and tourney hopefuls fill out 12-bout card

  • 27 days ago

The lineup is set for the first event under PFL – the rebranded WSOF promotion that has relaunched with an ambitious yearlong tournament format with some major paydays. read news >>

MMAjunkie reader predictions: Make your picks for Bellator 198 in Chicagoland

  • 28 days ago

We want your predictions for Saturday’s Bellator 198 event near Chicago, which features the continuation of the heavyweight tournament. 1 2 3 4 …5 read news >>

David Branch hopes KO win proves he's 'capable of more' than boring fights, close decisions

  • 28 days ago

UFC middleweight David Branch’s new career approach is to leave the past in the past and focus only on the future. read news >>

ONE Heroes of Honor Fight Highlights: Kevin Belingon Destroys Andrew Leone | MMAWeekly.com

  • 28 days ago

Kevin Belingon put in the best performance of his career to destroy Andrew Leone in Manila. Check out full ONE: Heroes of Honor fight highlights. read news >>

Kevin Lee Heard Robert Follis' Voice in His Head to Help Him Through Third Round Scare | MMAWeekly.com

  • 28 days ago

Kevin Lee knew fight week was going to be tough for him without his head coach Robert Follis. Tragically, Follis died late last year after serving as head coach for dozens of top fighters and champio read news >>

Just 0-0 as pro, but Bellator 198's Dillon Danis 'getting into this to be the world champion'

  • 29 days ago

Casual MMA fans may know Dillon Danis as two things: a great grappler, and a training partner to former UFC champion Conor McGregor. Danis, though, plans to be known as something else: a world champi read news >>