Two division Bellator champion Ryan Bader will defend the heavyweight championship against Cheick Kongo at Bellator 226. The Bellator Featherweight World Grand Prix will also begin at the event, but no bouts have been announced at this time.
The following press release was issued by Bellator MMA on the event:
BELLATOR RETURNS TO SAP CENTER AT SAN JOSE ON SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7 WITH HEAVYWEIGHT WORLD TITLE FIGHT ON DAZN
RYAN BADER DEFENDS HIS HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP AGAINST CHEICK KONGO IN MAIN EVENT OF BELLATOR 226
PLUS, THE START OF THE HIGHLY ANTICIPATED 16-MAN BELLATOR FEATHERWEIGHT WORLD GRAND PRIX
LOS ANGELES – Two-division champion Ryan Bader (27-5) will make the first defense of his Bellator heavyweight world title against French-born slugger Cheick Kongo (30-10-2) when Bellator returns to SAP Center at San Jose on Saturday, September 7.
In addition, Bellator will officially launch its Featherweight World Grand Prix featuring 16 of the best 145-pound fighters in MMA, with the entire grand prix streaming exclusively on DAZN. More details on the grand prix, including participants and matchups, as well as additional Bellator 226 bouts, will be announced in the coming weeks.
Bellator 226: Bader vs. Kongo will stream live exclusively on DAZN at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT, while preliminary action will stream on Bellator.com, DAZN and globally on the Bellator Mobile App.
An exclusive online presale for this event takes place Wednesday, July 17 through Thursday, July 18, with tickets going on sale to the general public Friday, July 19 at 10 a.m. PT. Tickets will be available at the ThreatMetrix Ticket Office at SAP Center at San Jose, as well as Ticketmaster.com and Bellator.com.
A winner of his last seven fights at both heavyweight and light heavyweight, Bellator’s two-division champion Ryan Bader will make his first heavyweight title defense since defeating “King Mo” Lawal, Matt Mitrione and Fedor Emelianenko in last year’s Heavyweight World Grand Prix. Fighting out of Chandler, Ariz., the former two-time NCAA Division I All-American wrestler from Arizona State University began his professional career by winning season eight of The Ultimate Fighter. “Darth” continued his path of dominance by collecting victories over some of the 205-pound division’s top talent, including wins over former world champions “Rampage” Jackson, Rashad Evans, Phil Davis (x2) and Rafael “Feijão” Cavalcante, as well as Ovince Saint Preux and Vinny Magalhães, before signing with Bellator in 2017.
Since joining Bellator in 2013, Kongo has strung together an impressive run that has seen him emerge victorious in 12 of 14 contests, including eight consecutive victories. With 42 career MMA fights under his belt, the Frenchman most recently defeated former Bellator titlist Vitaly Minakov in a rematch from 2014. The unanimous decision loss was the first of Minakov’s career and cemented Kongo as the true number one contender for Bader’s title. Training alongside “Rampage” Jackson, Juan Archuleta and others at Huntington Beach Ultimate Training Center, Kongo is now looking to add an MMA world title next to his multiple kickboxing world championships.
Updated Bellator 226: Bader vs. Kongo Fight Card:
Heavyweight World Title Bout: Ryan Bader (27-5) vs. Cheick Kongo (30-10-2)
*Card subject to change.
Please visit Bellator.com for more information.
Bellator is a leading global mixed martial arts and kickboxing organization featuring many of the best fighters in the world. Under the direction of veteran fight promoter Scott Coker, Bellator events take place in major cities worldwide and can be seen on television in over 160 countries to an available audience of over one billion people. In the United States, Bellator can be seen on both Paramount Network and DAZN, the world’s first truly dedicated LIVE sports streaming service. Bellator is comprised of an executive team that includes top industry professionals in television production, live event orchestration, fighter development/relations, venue procurement, sponsorship creation/development, international licensing, marketing, advertising, publicity and commission relations. Bellator is based in Hollywood, Calif. and owned by entertainment giant Viacom, home to the world's premier entertainment brands that connect with audiences through compelling content across television, motion picture, online and mobile platforms.
DAZN is the largest global sports streaming platform in the world. Since launching in 2016, DAZN had expanded across four continents with the service available in the United States, Canada, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Japan, and Brazil. DAZN guarantees no long-term contract, no bundles, just affordable access to all the service's sports on connected devices including smart TVs, smartphones, tablets, games consoles and PCs. In the U.S., DAZN has made its mark as an attractive alternative to pay-per-view within the combat sports industry. The platform features more than 100 fight nights per year from Matchroom Boxing, Golden Boy Promotions, GGG Promotions, Bellator MMA, the World Boxing Super Series and Combate Americas. DAZN also features live MLB action each day of the season with its new daily show, ChangeUp.