Ryan Bader Beats Valentin Moldavsky In Thriller – Bellator 273 Highlights

Ryan Bader, Valentin Moldavsky
Bellator 273

It was far from an easy matchup for Bellator heavyweight champion Ryan Bader, but he won the later rounds of the fight to retain his title at Bellator 273.

Bader made his long-awaited return to heavyweight after a long stint in the Bellator Light Heavyweight World Grand Prix. He lost in the semifinals to Corey Anderson in his last outing, eliminating him from attempting to get his 205-pound belt back.

Bader nearly finished the fight in the opening seconds with a strong flurry on Valentin Moldavsky. He wobbled Moldavsky bad with punches before Moldavsky was able to move the fight to the clinch and stop Bader’s advance.

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Moldavsky found a rhythm in Rounds 2 and 3, using his trademark wrestling to control the pace of the fight. But, he didn’t put out a lot of offense once he got top position on Bader.

Bader and Moldavsky were dead even heading to the fifth and final round. Moldavsky’s boxing proved effective in the first half of the round, but Bader used his clinch work and elbows up against the fence to stifle Moldavsky.

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After five exhausting back-and-forth rounds, the judges gave Bader the 48-47 unanimous decision victory over Moldavsky.

Following the win, it was announced that Bader will defend his heavyweight title against Cheick Kongo in May. The card is slated to take place on May 6 in Paris, FR.

Bader has already confirmed that he won’t fight at 205 pounds for the remainder of his MMA career. He looked strong and energetic at heavyweight and doesn’t have to worry about brutal weight cuts at this stage of his career.

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With the win, the 38-year-old Bader further proves that he’s still one of the most elite fighters in the world with an all-time gritty performance at Bellator 273.

Highlights from Ryan Bader vs. Valentin Moldavsky

Check out the highlights from the heavyweight showdown between Bader and Moldavsky at Bellator 273.

Curtis Calhoun is a Combat Sports Contributor based in Seattle, Washington. After a longtime dream of becoming a sports journalist, he was able to accomplish his goals upon graduating from Washington State University in 2016.