While it’s almost impossible now, Bellator heavyweight champion Ryan Bader did make an effort to fight former UFC heavyweight title-holder Daniel Cormier.
Cormier and Bader were previously slated to fight in a light heavyweight bout when they were both in the UFC. And with both fighters holding the heavyweight title for their respective promotions over the past year, there was talk of a potential cross-promotional fight.
That’s not happening now especially after Cormier lost his heavyweight title to Stipe Miocic last month at UFC 241. However, Bader tried to make it happen as his management reached out to the UFC:
“You know where I stand on the Cormier fight, I wanted that fight forever,” Ryan Bader told MMA Fighting. “We tried to get Cormier [in] cross-promotion, champ-champ versus champ-champ fight, we reached out to see if there was any interest in doing a little cross-promotion. It’s probably never going to happen but you never know. It’s happened before in boxing, I don’t see the UFC doing it with Bellator but you never know.
“My manager has a relationship with both [organizations] and he threw the idea out there. I don’t think it went too far but it’s one of those things where eventually something like that is going to happen. You never know. It could happen with us.”
In reality, it doesn’t seem likely even if Cormier did retain his title against Miocic. But even if that fight never happens, Bader still believes he’s the best heavyweight in the world:
“For me, I believe that [I am the best],” he added. “If you don’t believe that, then you shouldn’t be in this sport. I do believe I’m the best in the world.
“I believe coming up to heavyweight, I can shine. That’s where I feel the best in terms of being agile, speed, cardio, all that kind of stuff plus I have the power. It was nice to get that recognition, too. So now I just have to go out there and continue to prove it.”
Bader defends his heavyweight title against Cheick Kongo at Bellator 226 this weekend.
Who do you think would have won in a Cormier vs. Bader fight?