Bellator’s first simultaneous two-weight champion returns to the cage this Saturday as Ryan Bader prepares for his first heavyweight title defence against Cheick Kongo.
Bader (27-5) ran the gauntlet of Bellator’s heavyweight grand prix to claim the vacant championship, defeating the legendary Fedor Emelianenko in the finals earlier this year. His opponent, Cheick Kongo (30-10-2), will offer stern opposition however as the Frenchman makes his second attempt at the Bellator title riding an eight-fight unbeaten streak dating back to 2015.
Elsewhere at Bellator 226, the promotion’s 16-man featherweight grand prix kicks into gear. Featuring the first four bouts of the tournament, UFC veteran Sam Sicilia (16-9) will take on Pedro Carvalho (10-3), former 145 lbs champion Pat Curran squares off against the dangerous Adam Borics (13-0), knockout artist Tywan Claxton (5-0) will face Emmanuel Sanchez while the co-main event will see two-time champion Daniel Strauss (26-8) fight Derek Campos (19-9).