Ryan Bader solidified himself in the heavyweight division at Bellator 280.
Bader defended his title in the main event vs. Cheick Kongo, scoring a decision. The card took place live on Showtime from Paris, France.
It was a rematch of a contest that ended in 2019 due to an accidental eye poke to Kongo. This time, Bader made sure to stay strong, sweeping the scorecards.
“First and foremost, wrestling right there,” Bader said. “If you want to fight MMA then wrestling is the key. I didn’t want the fight to go like that, I wanted to get a finish. No excuses at all, I was like ‘Wow, I’ve got to grind this one out’. It was kind of an uneventful fight but I got the win.
“I wanted to get him in the handcuff. He’s tough, he’s long, he’s a big body, he’s strong and he’s a veteran and he knows what he’s doing, so I couldn’t get in.”
In the co-main event, Yoel Romero finished Alex Polizzi in the third round with one second left. Romero was to meet Melvin Manhoef, but Manhoef pulled out of the fight.
Davy Gallon, Lorenz Larkin and Gregory Babene were among the main card winners.
Bellator 280 Results
Ryan Bader def. Cheick Kongo via unanimous decision to remain Bellator heavyweight champion
Yoel Romero def. Alex Polizzi via TKO (strikes) at 4:59 of Round 3
Davy Gallon def. Benjamin Brander via TKO (strikes) at 3:18 of Round 2
Lorenz Larkin def. Kyle Stewart via TKO (strikes) at 4:44 of Round 1
Gregory Babene def. Mike Shipman via KO (strike) at 2:11 of Round 1
Piotr Niedzielski def. Pedro Carvalho via split decision
Thibault Gouti def. Lewis Long via unanimous decision
Jordan Barton def. Fabacary Diatta via split decsiion
Soren Bak def. Charlie Leary via unanimous decsiion
Yves Landu def. Gavin Hughes via TKO (strikes) at 3:01 of Round 1
Lucie Bertaud def. Katarzyna Sadura via unanimous decision
Youcef Ouabba def. Matthieu Duclos via TKO (strikes) at 4:17 of Round 1
Bourama Camara def. Victor Verchero via KO (strike) at 3:06 of Round 1