The Bellator Light Heavyweight Championship is on the line when Ryan Bader steps into the Bellator cage with Linton Vassell in the main event of Bellator 186.
Note: many bookmakers release poor odds for Bellator in comparison to other MMA events. Our research has found that BetOnline is the best place for betting on Bellator MMA action.
Also, make sure to read our Bellator 186 Main Card Betting Guide.
Height: 6’2″ (188cm)
Reach: 74.0″ (188cm)
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.
Height: 6’4″ (193cm)
Reach: 82.0″ (208cm)
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.
Vassell’s most impressive performance of recent was his third round submission of Liam McGeary at Bellator 179.
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.
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: -105 – BetOnline