- Ryan Bader will be down to fight Francis Ngannou the moment the former UFC champion signs with Bellator
- The reigning Bellator heavyweight champion knows beating “The Predator” will be good for his career
After spoiling Fedor Emelianenko’s farewell fight with a TKO win at Bellator 290, Ryan Bader was quizzed for comments about a potential showdown against Francis Ngannou. Bader said he’s definitely down for it but he is not seeing the former UFC heavyweight champion signing with Bellator anytime soon.
When it’s on, it’s on
Speaking to reporters in his post-fight press conference, “Darth” said it’s not the first time he shared his take on the Ngannou thing but it will only progress once his fellow former UFC fighter inks a deal with Bellator.
The way Bader sees it, “The Predator” is too invested in working on a boxing match with WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury at the moment, but a win over Ngannou will surely put an end to those who doubt his legitimacy as a champion.
“I kind of talked about this the other time, when he signs the contract or whatever, then we could talk about it,” Bader said. “I mean, Tyson Fury’s calling him out and all that. I assume he is going to go and box instead. You know, once he signs with Bellator, we could kind of cross that bridge. But I’m looking to fight before that, so if it happens down the road, cool. But we’ll kind of see on that.”
Bellator isn’t enticing for Ngannou
Bellator CEO Scott Coker previously said the interest is there and “there’s a dialogue going on” with Ngannou at this point. But for Bader, it will only matter to him when everything is in black and white. Otherwise, “The Predator” is the least of his concerns.
“He’s not signed, first off. I don’t think he’s going to come here but if he does, awesome. I think he’s one of the best heavyweights in the world and to get to go out there and beat him, and there’s no question like, ‘Okay, I’m legit!’ Even though people are always gonna talk this and that… If a deal is signed, cool… it’s one of the ones down the road for sure,” Bader said.
“I don’t really care… Not too much. I fought everybody in this whole damn sport you know, it’s just not one of those things where I’m like, ‘Hell yeah, let’s do this!’ I’m just going out there [like] who’s next? Cool. Do my job, get my paycheck,” he concluded.
As it turns out, Bader was right as Ngannou had just verbally agreed to fight Fury for “The Baddest Man on the Planet” title fight. Fury has laid out a couple of demands to which the ex-UFC champ has no issues.
As for Bader, he is currently enjoying a three-fight winning streak as Bellator’s heavyweight champion and will be waiting for his next title challenger.