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Ryan Bader Unsure of His Future with Bellator, Eyes Potential Fight with Francis Ngannou



Ryan Bader is the reigning Bellator heavyweight champion, but he doesn’t know how long he will hold that title. The MMA promotion is facing rumors of a possible sale, which could affect the fate of its fighters and events.


Bader was supposed to defend his belt against Linton Vassell at Bellator 300 on Saturday, but the fight was scrapped after Vassell pulled out due to an injury. Bader was left without an opponent, and without a clear idea of what’s next for him.


“I’ve had some talks with my manager about ‘what ifs,’ but really nobody knows what’s happening,” Bader told MMA Fighting. "So what you can do, keep that on the outside and take care of your job. Put yourself in the best position moving forward with a merger or who knows what happens. Are we all free agents? Are we merging with PFL? We don’t know.

“You can think of all different scenarios, but none of them may be true. What we have to do is keep our heads down and think about the fight in front of us, and put ourselves in the best position to get your contract picked up, or if you’re a free agent, a new contract. Being the heavyweight champion has a little bit of weight going into that.”

Bader admits that he is interested in facing Ngannou, who is widely regarded as one of the most powerful and dangerous strikers in MMA history.


“That’s definitely something that would get me excited,” Bader said. “He’s a beast, he’s a challenge, and he’s got a big name. And obviously, the money is good too. I’m not afraid of anybody, I’ve fought the best in the world, and I would love to test myself against him.”

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