Ryan Bader is still the Bellator heavyweight champion after a successful defence against hometown favourite Cheick Kongo in Paris at Bellator 280.
In a contest that could be called “The last takedown in Paris,” Bader (30-7-0) repeatedly took down Kongo (31-12-2) and controlled him for the majority of the five-round contest. Kongo seemed unable to make any adjustments and wound up being on the defensive.
— BellatorMMA (@BellatorMMA) May 6, 2022
It added up to 50-45, 50-45, and 50-45 scores from the judges for the champion and an unhappy hometown crowd at the AccorHotels Arena.
Bader notched his consecutive win and afterwards, floated the surging Linton Vassell as a possible fight. Bader previously defeated him in a light heavyweight title defence in 2017.
Kongo has now lost two of his last three fights.
In the co-main event, Yoel Romero took more than a few liberties with opponent Alex Polizzi, knocking him down four times before finally finishing him with a second left in the fight.
In other bouts:
RYAN BADER DEF. CHEICK KONGO VIA UD (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)
YOEL ROMERO DEF. ALEX POLIZZI VIA TKO (PUNCHES) R3 4:59
DAVY GALLON DEF. BENJAMIN BRANDER VIA TKO (PUNCHES AND ELBOWS) R2 3:18
LORENZ LARKIN DEF. KYLE STEWART VIA TKO (KNEES AND PUNCHES) R1 4:44
GREGORY BABENE DEF. MIKE SHIPMAN VIA TKO (PUNCHES) R1 2:11
PIOTR NIEDZIELSKI DEF. PEDRO CARVALHO VIA SD (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
THIBAULT GOUKI DEF. LEWIS LONG VIA UD (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
JORDAN BARTON DEF. FABACARY DIATTA VIA SD (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
SOREN BAK DEF. CHARLIE LEARY VIA UD (29-28, 30-27, 29-28)
YVES LANDU DEF. GAVIN HUGHES VIA TKO (KNEES AND BODY KICK) R1 3:01
LUCIE BERTAUD DEF. KATARZYNA SADURA VIA UD (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
YOUCEF OUABBAS DEF. MATTHIEU DUCIOS VIA TKO (PUNCHES) R1 4:17
BOURAMA CAMARA DEF. VICTOR VERCHERE VIA TKO (PUNCHES) R1 3:06
The next Bellator event, Bellator 281, is scheduled for the OVO Arena in the U.K. on May 13. Logan Storley will take on Michael Page in a main event bout for the interim welterweight title.
Bellator will also return to Dublin, Ireland on Sept. 23 with a card featuring Yoel Romero and Melvin Manhoef.