Ryan Bader decisions Cheick Kongo in Bellator 280 main event

Ryan Bader retained his heavyweight title in the Bellator 280 main event on Saturday by defeating Cheick Kongo by unanimous decision in Paris, France. The bout was a rematch from their 2019 meeting that ended in a No Contest after an accidental eye poke.

Bader employed a strategy of closing the distance, pressing Kongo against the cage and controlling him in the clinch. It worked. He won every round on all three judges scorecard. The scorecards ready (50-45, 50-45, and 50-45.

ā€œFirst and foremost, wrestling right there. If you want to fight MMA then wrestling is the key. I didnā€™t want the fight to go like that, I wanted to get a finish. No excuses at all, I was like ā€˜Wow, Iā€™ve got to grind this one outā€™. It was kind of an uneventful fight but I got the win,” Bader said following the fight.

ā€œI wanted to get him in the handcuff. Heā€™s tough, heā€™s long, heā€™s a big body, heā€™s strong and heā€™s a veteran and he knows what heā€™s doing, so I couldnā€™t get in.”

Bellator 280 Official Results

Main Card

  • Ryan Bader def. Cheick Kongo via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)
  • Yoel Romero def. Alex Polizzi via TKO – Round 3, 4:59
  • Davy Gallon def. Benjamin Brander via TKO (elbows) – Round 2, 3:18
  • Lorenz Larkin def. Kyle Stewart via TKO – Round 1, 4:44
  • Gregory Babene def. Mike Shipman via KO – Round 1, 2:11

Preliminary Card

  • Piotr NiedzielskiĀ def.Ā Pedro CarvalhoĀ via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
  • Thibault GoutiĀ def.Ā Lewis LongĀ via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Jordan BartonĀ def.Ā Fabacary DiattaĀ via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
  • Soren BakĀ def.Ā Charlie LearyĀ via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28)
  • Yves LanduĀ def.Ā Gavin HughesĀ via TKO (body kick) – Round 1, 3:01
  • Lucie BertaudĀ def.Ā Katarzyna SaduraĀ via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Youcef OuabbasĀ def.Ā Matthieu DuclosĀ via TKO – Round 1, 4:17
  • Bourama CamaraĀ def.Ā Victor VerchereĀ via TKO – Round 1, 3:06