Bellator Will Give Ryan Bader Leeway To Defend Heavyweight and Light Heavyweight Titles • MMA News
Bellator MMA crowned its first-ever “Champ Champ” over the weekend. Ryan Bader defeated Fedor Emelianenko to win the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix Tournament. With the victory, Bader is the new heavyweight champion of Bellator. He already held the promotion’s 205-pound championship. Now the question remains, how will Bader handle being a two-division champion of Bellator.
To this day there has not been a mixed martial artist to have defended two belts in different weight classes simultaneously for a major promotion. Perhaps Bader could be the first. Speaking at the post-Bellator 214 press conference, Scott Coker said that Bader will be given the leeway to defend both titles as long as one division isn’t backed up (via MMA Junkie):
“That’s going to be up to Ryan as long as we don’t have the light heavyweight (title picture) being jammed up,” Coker said. “If Gegard (Mousasi) – because he told me he wants to move up and Lyoto (Machida) might want to move up at some point and fight Bader at 205.
“As long as those fights aren’t right down the road for him, we’re going to give him a little bit of leeway to say, ‘Hey, if you want to defend the heavyweight, then you can do it.’ Then he’ll go back-and-forth.
“But I think eventually there will be a bottleneck at some point, and then we’ll all make a business decision.”
Do you think Bader will be able to successfully defend both championships?