Daniel Cormier recently became the first fighter in UFC history to wear the light heavyweight and heavyweight titles concurrently, first capturing the vacant belt with a defeat of Anthony Johnson, then thumping Stipe Miocic to capture the heavyweight belt.
Ryan Bader recently accomplished the same feat under the Bellator banner, first defeating Phil Davis to win the light heavyweight belt, and then defeating Fedor Emelianenko to capture the vacant heavyweight belt.
Given the similar accolades of Daniel Cormier and Ryan Bader, there’s been some discussion about a potential cross-promotional fight between them. This prospective matchup is made even more interesting by the fact that the pair were briefly scheduled to fight in 2015, though the bout was never actualized.
While the chances of a Daniel Cormier vs. Ryan Bader fight actually occurring seem incredibly slim, Bader’s head coach Jair Lourenco says he’d love to see it.
“That’s the fight we wanted. That’s the fight everybody wanted,” Lourenco told MMA Fighting. “It’s an old rivalry, and it would be the first champ-champ vs. champ-champ cross-promotion in MMA history. That only happens in boxing. That’s a fight I wanted to see.”
Furthermore, Lourenco believes Ryan Bader has a good chance of defeating Daniel Cormier — perhaps even by stoppage.
“I believe that a five-round fight would be a great scenario for us,” Lourenco said. “Bader does great in five-round fights, but they both have heavy hands. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a war, but I believe Bader has a great chance of finishing him inside five rounds.
“Cormier is a great guy, much respect to him, but I see a good match-up for Bader. Cormier is an excellent wrestler with a good game on short range, the same game Bader does well. Cormier did more in pure wrestling, but Bader’s wrestling in great for MMA.”
Who do you think would win a fight between Ryan Bader and Daniel Cormier?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 2/11/2019.