SAN JOSE, Calif. – Ryan Bader rapidly dispatched Muhammed Lawal to advance in the Bellator heavyweight grand prix, and now he realizes one thing.
“It gets real now,” Bader mentioned. “It’s heavyweight.”
Bader (25-5 MMA, Three-Zero BMMA), the promotion’s 205-pound champion, scored a stunning 15-knockout win over Lawal (21-7 MMA, 10-6 BMMA) in the Paramount-televised Bellator 199 most important occasion at SAP Center. In doing so, Bader arrange a semifinals matchup in opposition to Matt Mitrione to face the winner of Fedor Emelianenko vs. Chael Sonnen for the heavyweight title at the top of the 12 months.
That’s a superb factor and precisely the place Bader desires to be. But as he famous, his win got here in opposition to a conventional gentle heavyweight in “King Mo,” who even announced after the loss that he’s shifting right down to middleweight.
So the best way Bader sees it, no disrespect to “King Mo,” however now could be the time to actually get to work.
“Now I have Mitrione, who’s a true heavyweight,” Bader mentioned. “I’m actually stepping up into the heavyweight division now.”
“I’m going to have to bring some guys in to emulate that,” he continued. “I’ll gain a little bit of weight, but I’m going to keep what makes me good also. I’m going to be fast and in shape, and I’m looking forward to that fight.”
Bader’s efficiency was as gorgeous because it was dominant. He countered Lawal’s first jab along with his personal first punch, an enormous left hook that dropped him to the mat. All Bader needed to do after that was pounce with ground-and-pound for the win.
Bader didn’t anticipate the encounter to finish so rapidly, however his coach did say that he had a sense earlier than the combat.
“My coach was saying, ‘I feel like there’s going to be a magic moment in this fight.’ And bam, it happened right then and there,” Bader mentioned. “And I saw it. I could see everything. That’s where, when we talk about experience and everything, there comes a time in all sports where the game slows down. You can think in there.”
The outcome means Bader took no harm, which large provided that Bellator President Scott Coker introduced the semifinals bout with Mitrione is predicted to happen in September. Bader wasn’t thrilled about being the final of the quarterfinal bouts, so this finally ends up being a best-case situation.
“For me, I like to have that back to back. It feels like I was just in there. The nerves are gone,” Bader mentioned. “… It’s perfect. If I was in a three-round war, I’m lumped up, I’ve got to take a month off. I get to compound now on the work I’ve already done coming out injury free.”
With Sonnen, Mitrione, Emelianenko and now Bader advancing to the semifinals, is “Darth” the clear favourite after a dominant efficiency in opposition to Lawal? He’s not one to get into all that, although he did share his ideas.
“I thought I was the favorite coming in regardless in my head, and my coaches thought the same thing,” Bader mentioned. “For me, it’s just keeping your head down and getting the job done.”
Seems like a strong strategy. Because, after all, it’s real now.