Ryan Bader is well on his way to being a double champion.
In the year after the UFC refused to match his Bellator offer, and two years removed from being passed up for a UFC Light Heavyweight Championship shot against Daniel Cormier, Ryan Bader is one fight away from being Bellator Heavyweight Champion, while simultaneously holding the company's Light Heavyweight Championship.
Bader was dominant at Bellator 207 Friday night, mollywhopping UFC veteran Matt Mitrione to several 10-8 rounds. You can see an excerpt of our live coverage below.
Round Three: The round begins with Bader immediately scoring a takedown against Mitrione and he gets the full guard, Bader attacks Mitrione with ground and pound. Bader transitions to back control on Mitrione while landing more strikes, Mitrione gets back up and Bader drags him back to the ground while landing more strikes. Mitrione gets to a seated position and Bader nails him with more strikes, Bader transitions to back control against Mitrione. Bader nails Mitrione with more strikes as the round ends.
Fightful scores the round 10-9 for Bader (Final Score: 30-27 for Bader)
Official Result: Ryan Bader def. Matt Mitrione by unanimous decision (30-25, 30-24, 30-25)
Bader was competing in the semifinals of Bellator's Heavyweight Tournament, created to determine a new heavyweight champion after Vitaly Minakov and Bellator had issues that led to him being stripped of the title. Bader defeated Mo Lawal in the opening round.
The winner of Saturday night's Bellator 208 main event between Fedor Emelianenko and Chael Sonnen will go on to the finals and face Bader.
You can see our full coverage of Bellator 207 at this link. Fightful.com will talk about the event Saturday night on our Bellator 208 post-show, as well as this Tuesday at 2 pm EST on the weekly Fightful MMA Podcast with Sean Ross Sapp, Showdown Joe Ferraro and James Lynch.
Photo courtesy of Bellator MMA.