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.
“First and foremost, wrestling right there. If you want to fight MMA then wrestling is the key. I didn’t want the fight to go like that, I wanted to get a finish. No excuses at all, I was like ‘Wow, I’ve got to grind this one out’. It was kind of an uneventful fight but I got the win,” Bader said following the fight.
“I wanted to get him in the handcuff. He’s tough, he’s long, he’s a big body, he’s strong and he’s a veteran and he knows what he’s doing, so I couldn’t get in.”
Bellator 280 Official Results
- 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
- Piotr Niedzielski def. Pedro Carvalho via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Thibault Gouti def. Lewis Long via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Jordan Barton def. Fabacary Diatta via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Soren Bak def. Charlie Leary via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28)
- Yves Landu def. Gavin Hughes via TKO (body kick) – Round 1, 3:01
- Lucie Bertaud def. Katarzyna Sadura via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
- Youcef Ouabbas def. Matthieu Duclos via TKO – Round 1, 4:17
- Bourama Camara def. Victor Verchere via TKO – Round 1, 3:06