Ryan Bader makes his first heavyweight title defense against Cheick Kongo on September 8 (AEST). The contest headlines Bellator 226 on DAZN taking place at SAP Center at San Jose, the promotion announced on Friday. In addition the event features a kick off of 16-Man Featherweight World Grand Prix.
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Ryan Bader (27-5) of the USA, 36, is two-division champion, light heavyweight and heavyweight. In his previous outing in January he knocked out Fedor Emelianenko in 35 seconds winning the WGP as well as taking a vacant heavyweight strap. On the way to the final he scored a unanimous decision against Matt Mitrione and TKO’d Muhammed Lawal in the first round.
Before that Bader made his first successful light heavyweight title defense when he stopped Linton Vassell in Round 2. He took the strap by split decision against Phil Davis. He is ridding the seven-fight win streak.
Cheick Kongo (30-10-2) of France, 44 is coming off a unanimous decision win earned against Vitaly Minakov in February. Before that he claimed a pair of first-round knockout victories against Timothy Johnson and Augusto Sakai. Kongo is unbeaten in eight bouts since June 2015.
Other bouts for Bellator 226 and participants of Featherweight World Grand Prix are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.
Heavyweight Ryan Bader vs. Cheick Kongo