Ryan Bader vs. Cheick Kongo booked for Bellator 226

Robert Vallejos, MMATorch Managing Editor

Bellator 226

Ryan Bader has his first heavyweight challenger.

Today,  Bellator announced that  heavyweight, and light heavyweight champion Ryan Bader will defend his heavyweight belt against Cheick Kongo at Bellator 226, on Sept. 7 in San Jose, California.

The fight will mark Bader’s first title defense since defeating  Fedor Emelianenko to capture the belt in the finals of the heavyweight grand prix, in January.

Bader is 5-0 since debuting in Bellator at Bellator 180, and capturing the light heavyweight title from fellow UFC alum Phil Davis.

Kongo, also a former UFC fighter, has won his last eight fights in Bellator, with his most recent win coming against Vitaly Minakov at Bellator 216 in February. Despite Kongo’s impressive run in Bellator, he was not part of the heavyweight grand prix.

Additionally, Bellator president Scott Coker announced via Twitter that the featherweight grand prix will also get underway at Bellator 226.

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