Prediction for the fight Ryan Bader vs Cheick Kongo

Incompatibility in a fight, especially when it is stopped due to accidents, like a poke in the eye, forces fighters to spend time on revenge, even when it would seem that the winner is obvious. In September 2019, Ryan Bader made his first heavyweight title defense, and almost immediately took control of the fight with Cheick Kongo. However, the slightest indiscretion shown in that fight forces him to re-enter the cage with the same opponent.

At the anniversary Bellator 280, which will take place in Cheick's hometown of Paris, Bader will try to save his only belt from the encroachments of a veteran for whom this is certainly the last opportunity in his career to climb Olympus. What will happen on May 7th: will we hear the name of a new champion or will "Darth" remain on the throne? Let's analyze the situation in detail before drawing any conclusions.

Ryan Bader vs Cheick Kongo

Ryan Bader

Ryan's past is closely connected with wrestling. He twice became the champion of Arizona, was in the TOP-5 at the US championships, and for a long time was one of the best wrestlers in the 1st division of the NCAA. Later, having already started training in MMA, he reached the level of a purple belt in BJJ, became the winner of the reality show The Ultimate Fighter, and after several successful years in the UFC he moved to Bellator.

Here "Darth" managed to become the champion of the light heavyweight division, and then, when the heavyweight title became vacant, to win it. The most significant victories in his career were triumphs in battles with Fedor Emelianenko, Antonio Nogueira, Phil Davis, Quinton Jackson and other legends of this sport. Now, after the loss of the 93 kg belt, Bader focuses his attention on holding the “gold” in the heavyweight.


If Ryan is not flawless in translations, bringing to the finish line less than half of the total number of attempts, then he is a master in keeping the enemy on the ground and beating him there. "Dart" is physically strong, which allows him to demolish the opposition in the center of the cage, and bring down near the net, after which he is in no hurry to go to receptions, but prefers to use ground and pound.

Despite the fact that the coaching staff of the champion is actively pumping his boxing, they repelled from the skills of the fighter himself, and did not try to instill in him something from the classics. Thanks to this, Ryan appropriately uses single strikes from non-standard angles and combinations in which he hides his left, overtaking target even from a long distance.

Bader cannot be called a cardio machine, but thanks to a clearly defined game plan and an understanding of what positions you can save strength in, he can work out for 25 minutes, remaining fresh. However, this only happens when most of the fight is under his control.


Ryan's proverbial "basement" style, while effective, involves a lot of marriage. Yes, and the stubbornness of the American, sometimes forcing him to go forward too openly, enabling opponents not only to evade attacks, but also successfully intercept them.

For certain reasons, "Darth" does not perform well in the clinch. He knows how to press opponents to the net, but he cannot actively use elbows, attack with all limbs and use this position as efficiently as possible, and this position will play a significant role in the upcoming confrontation.

The current form and readiness of the fighter

Ryan is 38 years old, and after the last fight against Valentin Moldavsky in January of this year, he had 3 months to rest, recover from his last training, and start a new camp. This means that the champion will be in good shape, and his condition in recent years has been stable, he is no longer progressing, but there are no serious signs of degradation either. However, the statistics of 2-2 in extreme performances, and even early defeats to Nemkov and Anderson, indicate that he is beyond his strength to compete with young tops, driving in light heavyweight. Fortunately, this time there will be no need to make such sacrifices, therefore it is quite expected that the Dart will be ready even for a protracted confrontation.

Ryan Bader vs Cheick Kongo

Cheick Kongo

The former kickboxer from France, who had 23 professional fights in the ring, with only 2 defeats, has tested himself in many martial arts, ranging from karate (black belt) to BJJ, but achieved the greatest popularity in MMA. There he became the KOTR champion, was the best in the Bellator League Heavyweight Grand Prix, held high positions in the top UFC for a long time, and then migrated to Bellator.

In the second most important league in the world, Kongo tried twice to take the belt, the first time losing to Vitaly Minakov, and then because of that same poke in the eye, he could not continue the meeting with Bader. At one time, this oversized athlete collected the scalps of guys like Alexander Volkov and Mirko "Cro Cop", and now, having approached the line of retirement sports age, he will try to sit on the throne of Bellator.


Long years in kickboxing, kendo, karate and other striking disciplines have allowed Cheik to hone his striking technique, which remains a dangerous weapon, both from any distance on the feet and in clinches. At the same time, he retained striking power and, despite the small number of blows thrown, delivers them accurately, hitting the target.

More than half of his punches, Kongo hits the legs and body, making his ligaments hard to read and often the athletes overlap the ribs, not noticing the Parisian's short, fast hooks.

Undoubtedly, with guys who have a base in grappling and wrestling, this athlete will not be able to compete on the ground. However, he deals with drummers, both through tricks (he won 4 times in his career by submissions), and with the help of ground and pound. Yes, and he is quite able to defend himself there - experience makes it possible to control any situation, minimizing damage.


It cannot be said that in recent years Cheik has slowed down a lot and his fighting style has somehow changed. He was always careful, unhurried, but aggression and the ability to go to the enemy, without waiting for his active actions, evaporated somewhere. Sometimes, he could easily avoid close judicial decisions, although then drawdowns in endurance would be inevitable.

Returning to passivity, we note that a noticeable slowness in actions sometimes does not play into the hands of Kongo, as he allows the opposition to come too close and does not have time to protect his legs from captures before takedowns. In addition, no one doubts that 5 rounds, and what’s there - 3 rounds, at a high pace under pressure, he definitely won’t pull it out. Still, age plays a huge role in professional sports.

The current form and readiness of the fighter

10 days after the upcoming title fight, Cheik will be 47 years old. Of the current popular fighters, he is the only one who competes in such honorable years. However, this did not stop him from scoring 9 victories in 10 extreme fights, if you do not take into account the failed fight with Ryan. Sergei Kharitonov last summer was delayed by a choke hold, before that, revenge was taken from Minakov, and Tim Johnson completely knocked out in 68 seconds. Although in revenge, he also won the Frenchman, barely taking an important point into his piggy bank. Simply put, he is ready to cope with the current opposition from Bellator, except for the heavyweight elite, only significant drawdowns in functionality are gradually moving him away from a successful career.

Comparative analysis

Let's immediately turn to anthropometry and dimensions: the applicant is not only 5 cm taller than Bader, but also breaks ahead in terms of weight (1-2 kg), and arm span - an impressive 20 cm. and this is 8 years, since Ryan corny reacts to everything faster, he is more explosive and generates more energy during the meeting. Plus, the champion has good endurance, so he can outplay his lanky opponent solely due to freshness and youth.

Everything about the stance theoretically goes to Cheik, who both hits more accurately and is on a different level in terms of technical diversity. Only now his passion for working as number two, failed waiting tactics, as well as the constant desire to lean back against the net to make it easier to defend against takedowns, deprive him of the operational space for swinging and controlling distance. Thanks to this, it will be easier for Ryan to find the moment for attacks and transfers, which, in fact, he successfully did in their first fight.

It is quite expected that with a stubborn Frenchman who has not changed the style of fighting for many years, there is no need to come up with something new. Jerking, kicking, and ground and pound work, with a plan like this, Bader's tougher and more skilled wrestler will be able to not only take the rounds, but also win this matchup by TKO. Is it possible to drop a champion? Yes, but for this, the applicant will have to, at least, develop a completely different game plan, and solve the problem with his age-related conservatism - start taking risks.

Ryan Bader vs Cheick Kongo Fight Prediction

Expect the picture of the fight to change much, even theoretically. Yes, it's a heavyweight, Bader is punctured, but he has too many options in the fight to foolishly set himself up for punching, trying to outbid Chayk. The latter will again rely on counter-attacks and Ryan will start fighting, perhaps not immediately, but it will definitely come to that. The base striker is no match for him in parter, so after a series of clinches, the tired French representative will collapse, and will survive each successive round, overlapping from the hail of 'Darth's' punches. In close combat, especially at the start, he has an advantage, as well as at long range, except that the American never maintains any particular distance to the target, but is constantly on the move. The only conclusion we can draw from all this is that with the 70:30 split decision the champion will come out the winner, and there is a good chance that Kongo will not fight him for the full 25 minutes. Download 1xbet to your phone and place a bet on the favorite!

Prediction: Ryan Bader to win.

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