Bellator 280 Main Event Preview: Ryan Bader – Cheick Kongo

Ryan Bader

On Friday, Bellator lands in Paris and they are bringing a heavyweight title fight for the main event. The heavyweight champion Ryan Bader (29-7, 1 NC) will look to defend his title against Paris’ own Cheick Kongo (31-11-2, 1 NC).

It’s crazy to think about this but Kongo has been with Bellator since 2013. Almost nine years with the promotion and he’s getting another crack at the heavyweight title. His last shot at the title also came against Ryan Bader in 2019 at Bellator 226.

That fight was ruled a No Contest after an accidental eye poke. Overall, Kongo is 9-1, 1 NC in his last eleven fights leading up to this main event and title shot at Bellator 280 in Paris.



Ryan Bader is back and he’s seeking another successful defense of his title at Bellator 280. The last time we saw him was at Bellator 273 earlier this year when he won by decision over Valentin Moldavsky.

Bader came into the at fight on a stretch that saw him go 1-2. However, all three fights came at light heavyweight. Bader just signed a new deal with the promotion and he plans on fighting exclusively at heavyweight to finish out his career.

Bellator 280 Prediction

In terms of Friday’s main event at Bellator 280, it’s a tough one. It’s tough for a few reasons. On paper, Ryan Bader should be the clear cut favorite to retain his title. He’s younger, he’s faster, and he has much better wrestling.

However, we’ve seen Bader’s chin look a little weak at times lately. Kongo still packs a helluva punch and if he lands the right shot, I think he can become the Bellator heavyweight champion in front of his home country.

However, I think that scenario is not extremely likely. I think Bader is going to use his standup to mainly setup his wrestling in this fight. Expect Bader to go for multiple takedowns and take this fight down.

To me, it’s not a question on who wins and who loses. The question is how will Bader retain is Bellator title? Will he finish Kongo with ground and pound or will he grind out a decision. I tend to lean towards the latter with watching Bader as of late.

Prediction: Ryan Bader by Decision