Bellator double champion Ryan Bader told UFC light heavyweight Jon Jones that he would “love to run it back” under the Bellator banner.
Bader and Jones fought back at UFC 126 in 2011 when both were still rising contenders in the UFC light heavyweight division. In a battle between the two top prospects in the division, Jones came away with the victory when he submitted Bader with a guillotine choke. Jones would then take on Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 128 and win the UFC light heavyweight title. The rest, they say, is history.
As for Bader, after a 16-5 run in the UFC the former TUF winner signed with Bellator in 2017 and has since gone undefeated with a 5-0, 1 NC record in his new organization, winning the Bellator heavyweight and light heavyweight titles along the way. Due to Bader’s recent improvements, some fans have wondered what a potential rematch against Jones would look like in 2020. But with both men in different promotions, that can’t happen.
However, Jones has made it clear in recent days that he isn’t happy with the UFC. The pound-for-pound great recently asked for his release from the UFC and has also suggested he wants to vacate his light heavyweight crown. In the very unlikely event that the UFC grants Jones his wish and releases him, Bader wants a piece of him. On Sunday, Bader took to Twitter to respectfully ask Jones for a rematch.
— Ryan Bader (@ryanbader) May 31, 2020
Gotta do what’s best for you @JonnyBones There is always another option tho. @BellatorMMA would love to run it back. Respect
Even if Jones vacates his belt, the UFC would still hold his contractual rights. Even if Jones asks the UFC for his release, they don’t have to grant it. Considering Jones is one of the biggest draws in MMA, the UFC wouldn’t likely let him go anytime soon, especially with a rival promoter like Bellator ready to scoop him up. But then again, if the relationship between Jones and the UFC can’t be mended, then maybe Bader could get his wish.
Would you like to see a rematch between Ryan Bader and Jon Jones in Bellator?