Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix – Ryan Bader – BJJ Fanatics

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On January 26th, at The Forum in Inglewood, California, MMA stars Fedor Emelianenko (38-5) and Ryan Bader (26-5) will conclude Bellator’s Heavyweight Grand Prix, and fight each other in the finals for the vacant Bellator Heavyweight championship.  

Chael’s approach to grappling comes from years of competing at the highest levels of wrestling, submission grappling and MMA. 

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Ryan Bader

Ryan Bader was born on June 7, 1983 in Reno, Nevada.  While in High School (Robert McQueen High School), he was a very successful wrestler, winning two state championships and being ranked as high as fourth in the country. After graduation, he attended Arizona State University, where coincidentally, he was college teammates with other UFC fighters- (former UFC Heavyweight Champion) Cain Velasquez and CB Dollaway.  While at Arizona State University, he was again a very successful wrestler, being a three time PAC-10 Champion (2003, 2004, and 2006), as well as a two time All American, placing fourth in 2004 and seventh in 2006.

UFC Career

After graduation, Bader began training Mixed Martial Arts at the Arizona Combat Sports in early 2007.  He began his UFC career as a contestant on season 8 of The Ultimate Fighter. He was the first light heavyweight selected by coach Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, and proved that he was deserving of the to spot, by winning his three fights on the show.  He then faced Vinicius “Vinny” Magalhaes on December 13, 2008 at The Ultimate Fighter 8 Finale. At the finale, Bader beat Vinny with a fight round knockout, which earned him the title of The Ultimate Fighter and the 6 figure UFC contact.

Bader started his official UFC run with an excellent 4–0 record after winning The Ultimate Fighter Finale, with wins over Carmelo Marrero, Eric Schafer, Keith Jardine, and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.  However, he then lost his next fight against Jon Jones at UFC 126, and then faced a shocking loss his next match, when he was caught in a submission guillotine choke by Tito Ortiz at UFC 132 on July 2, 2011.  After, he strung together a very impressive 10-3 record in the UFC, with wins over Jason Brilz, Quinton Jackson, Vladimir Matyushenko, Anthony Perosh, Rafael Cavalcante, Ovince Saint Preux, Phil Davis, Rashad Evans, Ilir Latifi, and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, only losing to Anthony Johnson, Glover Teixeira, and Lyoto Machida.

Bellator Career

Ryan Bader’s last fight in the UFC was at UFC Fight Night on November 19, 2016 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, where he won by TKO (punches).  After this match, his UFC fight contract ended, and he was a free agent. He soon announced on Ariel Helwani’s podcast, the MMA Hour, that he was in negotiations with Bellator MMA.  Because the UFC did not seek to match Bellator’s offer (which they had the right to), Bader announced on March 21, 2017 that he signed a six fight deal with Bellator MMA.

His first fight was against Phil Davis at Bellator 180 in New York City, on June 24, 2017, who was the current Bellator Light Heavyweight Champion.  This was a rematch, as they had already fought in the UFC (on January 24, 2015), where Bader won by split decision. During this rematch, the end result was the same, as Bade won the five round fight by split decision, becoming the new Bellator Light Heavyweight World Championship.  He then fought Linton Vassell at Bellator 186, on November 3, 2017, to defend his belt. After, he entered the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix, where he TKO Mo Lawal on May 12, 2018, and won a dominant unanimous decision over Matt Mitrione on October 12, 2018.

Professional  Mixed Martial Arts Record:

Res. Opponent Method Date

Win Matt Mitrione Decision (unanimous) 12-Oct-18

Win Muhammed Lawal TKO (punches) 12-May-18

Win Linton Vassell TKO (punches) 3-Nov-17

Win Phil Davis Decision (split) 24-Jun-17

Win Antônio Nogueira TKO (punches) 19-Nov-16

Win Ilir Latifi  KO (knee) 3-Sep-16

Loss Anthony Johnson KO (punches) 30-Jan-16

Win Rashad Evans Decision (unanimous) 3-Oct-15

Win Phil Davis Decision (split) 24-Jan-15

Win Ovince Saint Preux Decision (unanimous) 16-Aug-14

Win Rafael Cavalcante Decision (unanimous) 14-Jun-14

Win Anthony Perosh Decision (unanimous) 7-Dec-13

Loss Glover Teixeira TKO (punches) 4-Sep-13

Win Vladimir Matyushenko Submission 26-Jan-13

Loss Lyoto Machida KO (punch) 4-Aug-12

Win Quinton Jackson Decision (unanimous) 26-Feb-12

Win Jason Brilz KO (punch) 19-Nov-11

Loss Tito Ortiz Submission 2-Jul-11

Loss Jon Jones Submission 5-Feb-11

Win Antônio Nogueira Decision (unanimous) 25-Sep-10

Win Keith Jardine KO 21-Feb-10

Win Eric Schafer Decision (unanimous) 24-Oct-09

Win Carmelo Marrero Decision (unanimous) 1-Apr-09

Win Vinny Magalhães TKO (punches) 13-Dec-08

Win Buckley Acosta Submission 5-Apr-08

Win Brad Peterson Decision (unanimous) 28-Dec-07

Win Ulises Cortez KO 27-Oct-07

Win Dicky Chavez TKO (punches) 15-Sep-07

Win Tim Peacock TKO (punches) 9-Jun-07

Win David Baggett Submission 12-May-07

Win Dave Covello Submission 31-Mar-07

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Full Bellator 214 lineup:

In addition to the exciting finale of the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix, there are numerous exciting fights on the January 26th Bellator 214 card.  

Fedor Emelianenko (38-5, 1 NC) vs. Ryan Bader (26-5)

Aaron Pico (4-1) vs. Henry Corrales (16-3)

Jake Hager (0-0) vs. J.W. Kiser (1-1)

Juan Archuleta (21-1) vs. Ricky Bandejas (11-1)

Brandon McMahan (5-6) vs. Adel Altamimi (7-5)

A.J. Agazarm (0-0) vs. Jesse Roberts (0-0)

Chris Gonzalez (1-0) vs. Henry Mendez (0-1)

Weber Almeida (1-0) vs. Odan Chinchilla (1-0)

Jay-Jay Wilson (1-0) vs. Tyler Beneke (0-0)

Sean Johnson (3-1) vs. Arturo Rivas (5-2)

Jorge Juarez (3-0) vs. David Pacheco (0-0)

Jesse Merritt (5-4) vs. Thor Skancke (10-8-1)

Osman Diaz (2-1) vs. Christopher Reyes (0-0)

James Barnes (11-3) vs. Ryan Lilley (9-4)

Ian Butler (4-5, 1 NC) vs. Craig Plaskett (3-3)

Steve Ramirez (6-3) vs. Desmond Torres (5-1)

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