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Despite plans to defend his Bellator light heavyweight title the next time he enters the cage, two-division champion Ryan Bader seems more than ready to return to heavyweight and take care of “unfinished business” with recent foe Cheick Kongo.
During an interview to promote the organization’s new CBS Sports Network series Bellator MMA Recharged, “Darth” was asked by Sherdog about the possibility of rematch with Kongo. After their Bellator 226 heavyweight title bout ended prematurely due to an accidental eye poke suffered by the challenger. Bader admits he would welcome the chance to run it back with the Frenchman, especially after recent comments made by Kongo to MMAjunkie.com where he alleged the eye poke was the act of a “coward” attempting to remove himself from the bout.
“I think there’s some unfinished business there with Kongo,” Bader said. “I just looked up this story he did today calling me a coward, and wanting a way out. I just don’t get it. I don’t get his thought process and how he doesn’t realize how stupid he looks. There’s clear-cut video evidence. It was on national TV. There’re cameras everywhere. Every single camera angle [showing] poking the nose, [and then he] grabs his eye. Then he calls me a coward and wanted a way out, after getting his ass beat for a round. It just blows my mind.
“Maybe this is his way of riling me up, and for sure getting the rematch. But I told his guys, we can rematch whenever. Don’t act like I’m ducking him or anything like that.”
“The Ultimate Fighter” Season 8 winner also had a response to Kongo calling him “fake,” and attempting to bully him during their weigh-in stare down the morning before the bout.
“He must be f—ing delusional, because there’s video of the f—ing weigh-in. When have I ever had a problem with anybody in a staredown? Never, and then he shoves me when I’m flat-footed. I don’t bitch about that. But he’s bitching about everything and he’s playing the victim the whole time,” Bader said.
“But deep down he knows in his mind that he wanted a way out, he got his way out, and now he’s looking to come in and fight for the title again. And I’ll grant it to him. I don’t give a s—t. But for whatever mind set he has; that victim mindset that he’s doing right now, it’s embarrassing.”