Ryan Bader could get a rematch with Bellator light heavyweight champion Vadim Nemkov in 2021, according to Bellator president Scott Coker.
Bader saw his eight-fight unbeaten streak snapped in emphatic fashion back at Bellator 244 in August when he suffered a vicious head kick TKO loss to Nemkov to lose the light heavyweight belt. Bader is still the Bellator heavyweight champion as well, and many thought his next fight would be a title defense of the heavyweight belt, but it now looks like there is a chance that Bader will remain down at 205lbs.
According to Coker, who recently spoke to MMAjunkie.com, Bader’s management team reached out and suggested a rematch with Nemkov. The Bellator president says that after the promotion signed Anthony Johnson and Yoel Romero, Bader is now much more interested in sticking around 205lbs than he was a few months ago.
“We were definitely heading in that direction (towards heavyweight), then I got a call recently from his management saying that he would like to consider fighting Nemkov again. So to me, we haven’t flushed it out, but I think there is a desire for a rematch for that fight. If it happens, I’m not sure, but we’re definitely going to have a conversation with him about it because we were all about him getting into the heavyweight division and defending his belt, but that could change in the next couple of weeks,” Coker said of Bellator’s plans for Bader in 2021.
The Bellator head also said that if Bader decides to stick around at 205lbs the promotion will have to figure out what to do with the heavyweight belt. Bader’s last title defense of the heavyweight championship came in September 2019, when he walked away with a No Contest against Cheick Kongo due to an accidental eye poke.
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