Ryan Bader entered Bellator after departing the UFC and won the Bellator Light Heavyweight Championship on debut. It was a perfect start for Bader who came in and won a very close split decision against Phil Davis at Bellator NYC. He’s on a three-fight winning streak now dating back to September 2016 and his only loss in the previous nine fights is a round one loss to Anthony Johnson at UFC on FOX 18.
Linton Vassell has finally worked his way back to another shot at the Bellator Light Heavyweight Championship. He first challenged Emanuel Newton at Bellator 130 for the championship but lost via choke in the final round. Since then, he has managed a 4-1 record in his last five fights with his only loss coming to Muhammed Lawal at Bellator 142.
Is Ryan Bader the best he has ever been right now?
It might be a little crazy to think that a 34-year-old is only just reaching his prime, but it might just be true. Bader entered MMA as a pure wrestler and used his wrestling to overwhelm opponents through the majority of his career but he is only now starting to become a well-rounded mixed martial artist. He has outstanding cardio, is aggressive, strong and extremely powerful.
Linton Vassell is tall and rangy and has a huge range of submission techniques in his arsenal. He’s dangerous on the mat and can submit opponents from top position or take their back and work from there. On the feet, his length means that he is an awkward proposition for opponents and this could be the case against an already hesitant Ryan Bader.
The key to this fight, though, is that Bader’s wrestling ability means that he is always in control of where this fight is taking place. If he is having success standing up, he can stay there. If not, he can attempt to take this to the mat. Yes, Vassell has a masterful submission game, but he will need to secure a dominant position against the experienced wrestler first.
Prediction and Betting Guide
Bader’s done the tough part; he’s won the Bellator championship. Now, he’s determined to go out there and enjoy himself while putting on a beatdown against Linton Vassell in the main event of Bellator 186.
Prediction: Ryan Bader by KO/TKO – Round 3
Rather than betting on Ryan Bader to win (there is little value), instead bet on this fight ending before it makes it to the scorecards for even better value.
Ryan Bader vs. Linton Vassell Total Rounds – Under 4.5
Friday, 6th October – 11:30 pm (ET) / 3:30am (GMT)
Odds: 19/201.95-1050.95-1.050.95 – BetOnline
Eric has been a sports journalist for over 20 years and has travelled the world covering top sporting events for a number of publications. He also has a passion for betting and uses his in-depth knowledge of the sports world to pinpoint outstanding odds and value betting opportunities.
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