Shortly after Ryan Bader became a two-division Bellator champion with a first-round knockout of heavyweight legend Fedor Emelianenko at Bellator 214, he was called out by former UFC light heavyweight champ Tito Ortiz.
Speaking on Twitter, Ortiz announced his intention to fight Chael Sonnen in a ‘tune up fight,’ and then take the Bellator light heavyweight title from Bader.
“So I tune up fight with “chale” [Chael Sonnen] than take the title from the champ [Ryan Bader].” – Tito Ortiz on Twitter
Ryan Bader was asked about this callout from Tito Ortiz at the Bellator 214 press conference. Having lost to Ortiz in 2011, he says this is a fight he’d happily take.
“Hell, yeah,” Bader said of this potential rematch (via MMAjunkie). “After I won the title, I was bugging him. He was at the bar, we were both there, and I was like, ‘Hey, you coming back, you coming back?’ He’s like ‘I’m done, man. I’m done.’ So, yeah, that’d be fun. He has to come back and definitely prove himself. Obviously, that’s a fight I don’t dwell on. But a fight I want to get back, all my losses. It’d be a fun a fight.
Bellator President Scott Coker also addressed a potential rematch between Ryan Bader and Tito Ortiz. He seemed open to the idea, though the notion of a rematch between Ortiz and Sonnen didn’t seem to appeal to him as much.
“We have not had those conversations,” Coker said. “George, his manager, has reached out and we said, ‘Yeah, let’s talk after this fight is over.’ But we’ll see – fighting Chael, he’s already done that. And to me, like, why would you want to rehash that?
Who do you want to see Ryan Bader fight next?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 1/29/2019.