Bellator 226: Bader vs. Kongo - Main Card Preview

Ryan Bader (27-5 in MMA, 5-0 in Bellator) has spent his entire career with the brunt of losses to elite fighters after easily shattering second-tier opponents. More than defeats, the disappointment came from the low resistance most of the time he tried to reach the top of the mountain at UFC, but the current phase is great: in the last thirteen fights, the embarrassing knockout to Anthony Johnson is surrounded by victories everywhere, including about Phil Davis twice and veterans Rashad Evans, Rogério Minotouro and Fedor Emelianenko. The rematch against Davis earned him the Bellator heavyweight belt and the tournament final against Emelianenko, the heavyweight crown, rewarding the athlete's good career and undeniable talent revealed at TUF 8.

Very strong physically, Ryan owns a respectable right fist knockout power, but is not very polished in the noble art and leaves blatant defensive spaces. Leaving the UFC with a recent 7-1 record, he expected to dominate Bellator light heavyweight, with the luxury of touring the heavyweight tournament as well.

The best fit he made in his game was to make better use of wrestling , where he twice achieved All-American status in the NCAA Division I. The rough approach precedes an arsenal of falls as technical as explosive as well as strong ground and pound . It is important to highlight its excellent conditioning, the foundation that ensures the implementation of an intense and uniform rhythm in your fighting.

The first challenger to the Bader belt is an old acquaintance of even the most casual MMA fans. Cheick Kongo (30-10-2 in MMA, 12-2 in Bellator) did not come out on top of the UFC as his opponent, but plays a better-than-expected role in Bellator. With an irregular career and criticized for fighting with little action, the Frenchman found in the new organization a way to extend his long career in a dignified manner. He beat a lot of bad people and a tournament of the highest low level. However, Kongo even scored significant victories against Alexander Volkov and Vitaly Minakov, who had beaten him on his first chance for the belt. What did not improve was the monotonous style and lack of sense of urgency, these still cause for criticism and public complaints.

Cheick always draws attention for his daunting physique, a certain technical refinement in exchange, and even knows how to turn to apply and defend falls. At 44, he's not an exponent of stamina, but he's better than most heavyweights in this regard. His big problem has always been a lack of aggression that harms him technically and commercially. When knocked down, it is easy prey for more skilled people in the grappling fight, which can be a big problem in this fight. The fists are heavy, but rarely put in a position to get the knockout, by always cautious attitude above the necessary

Bader is a great athlete, there is no reason to believe that he will show a significant decline in the near future. With much more intensity, talent and versatility, it is the favorite favorite in this battle. Could it be that the old peanut-delivery bader shows up against a heavy heavyweight like cheap vodka? Yes, but the custom here is to bet on the most likely and not on the burning cabaret.
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