Tomorrow night in the main event of Bellator 273, Ryan Bader (28-7) returns to heavyweight to defend his title against the interim champion Valentin Moldavksy (11-1). This will be the first Bellator event of 2022.
For Moldavsky, he will finally get his chance to claim undisputed Bellator gold. The Russian heavyweight who trains under Fedor made his debut with the promotion back in 2017. Immediately, he made an impact on the Bellator heavyweight division.
He’s gone a perfect 6-0 since joining. However, no win was bigger than his last one. He took on Tim Johnson for the interim heavyweight title at Bellator 261 and won a decision. That win has set him up for this title shot against Bader.
One of the best decisions Ryan Bader has ever made was jumping to Bellator. While he was good in the UFC, he’s been a star with Bellator. Immediately after joining the promotion, he became the light heavyweight champion.
After defending that title once, he jumped into the heavyweight grand prix. He won the tournament to become Bellator heavyweight champion and then moved back down. This will be his first fight at heavyweight since 2019.
Bellator 273 Prediction
Before I get into my Bellator 273 prediction, I just want to say that I really prefer Ryan Bader at heavyweight at this stage in his career. He showed in his last few fights at light heavyweight that it’s just not for him anymore.
No weight cut is ideal for the 38 year old Bader. Now, what do I think is going to happen tomorrow night? Well, one of Bader’s biggest attributes at heavyweight is his speed. That’s one of the key reasons as to why he became the heavyweight champion.
However, he might even be at a speed disadvantage against Moldavsky at Bellator 273. The Russian is extremely quick and he trains with Vadim Nemkov who just knocked out Ryan Bader for the light heavyweight title last year.
We’ve seen Moldavsky eat some big shots and Bader’s only chance in my opinion is if he can knock him out. I don’t see Bader’s wrestling being a big factor and I don’t think he can win a point fight with the speed disadvantage.
I actually really like Valentin Moldavksy in this one. He’s the betting favorite for a reason at Bellator 273. Too many things are in his favor from the speed to the age. I think we see a new heavyweight champion tomorrow night.
Prediction: Valentin Moldavsky by TKO – Round 4