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Scott Coker eyes busy 2020 for Bellator champ-champ Ryan Bader


TOKYO — Bellator champ-champ Ryan Bader looks like he’s going to have a busy 2020.

The 36-year-old, who currently holds the Bellator heavyweight and light heavyweight belts, could defend both of his world titles twice in the upcoming year. That’s what Bellator president Scott Coker would like to see from Bader (27-5 MMA, 5-0 BMMA).

“He’s going to defend both belts until he loses one,” Coker told MMA Junkie in a recent interview. “That’s how it’s going to be, but we have a lot of guys here to give him some good competition. I think him coming down to 205 and start it off, I’d like to keep him busy next year. I’d like to have him fight three or four times next year.”

Last time Bader competed, he fought Cheick Kongo for his first heavyweight title defense at Bellator 226 in San Jose, Calif. He retained the belt after the bout ended in a no-contest due to an accidental eye poke from Kongo. Prior to that, Bader defeated Fedor Emelianenko in January in Inglewood, Calif., to win the Bellator heavyweight grand prix and win the heavyweight title.

Bader has not defended his light heavyweight belt since his first defense against Linton Vassell back in November 2017, a fight he won via second-round technical knockout.

Coker doesn’t have details for Bader’s next fight, but said fans can expect him to return to light heavyweight and defend that belt in the first quarter of 2020.

“Ryan, from my understanding, wants to fight sometime in March and he’s going to defend his 205-pound belt,” Coker said. “That’s what he wants to do so we’re going to do that. Hopefully we’ll have a location, opponent, and all the details to announce early in January.”

For more from Coker, watch the video above.



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