Forget Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier … the BEST heavyweight mixed martial artist is Bellator’s Ryan Bader — so says the man himself!!!
TMZ Sports talked to Bader — Bellator’s heavyweight AND light heavyweight champ — before his clash with Cheick Kongo at Bellator 226 this weekend.
Ryan’s been DOMINANT — he ran through the promotion’s HW tournament, beating guys like Matt Mitrione and the legendary Fedor Emelianenko … prompting Bellator honcho Scott Coker to declare Bader “the best heavyweight fighter on the planet.”
Guess what? Bader says his boss is right!!!
“I went through that tournament, I didn’t get punched in the face one time,” Bader tells us. “Why shouldn’t I believe that? I believe I can beat anyone at any given time and that includes heavyweights.”
“So, I don’t think that’s a crazy statement. You put myself and Stipe or Cormier in there, I do believe I can beat them.”
Bader says he’s hopeful that the future may hold some cross-promotional dream fight that’d pair him against the UFC’s top big guys … but before that, he’s gotta deal with 6’4, 235lb. Kongo who was a part of one of MMA’s craziest fights ever.