Ryan Bader punched his ticket to the Heavyweight Grand Prix Final with a dominant victory over Matt Mitrione in the Bellator 207 main event.
Ryan Bader is the current Bellator light heavyweight champion, and knocked out King Mo in the first round of the heavyweight tournament in just 14 seconds. Bader is 3-0 in Bellator, winning the title in his debut over Phil Davis. Bader won seven of his last eight bouts in the UFC before becoming a free agent.
Matt Mitrione has turned his career around since joining Bellator, winning all four of his fights, three of which by knockout. Prior to joining the tournament, Mitrione knocked out Fedor Emelianenko at Bellator 200. “Meathead” earned his spot in the semi-final by taking a majority decision over Roy Nelson.
Ryan Bader started the fight exactly how he wanted, throwing several right hands and landing a takedown before 30 seconds had expired. Mitrione was able to stand up, but Bader dragged him right back down. The sequence repeated itself two more times, then Bader pushed for a stoppage by landing several unanswered shots to a covering up Mitrione. Mitrione stood up and ate several right hands before time expired.
Mitrione came out guns blazing in the second round, landing shots as he charged forward, but Bader weathered the storm and took Mitrione down again. Bader controlled the fight from half guard, then moved to side control where he nearly sunk in a kimura. Mitrione began trying to roll for leg locks but Bader swallowed up the attempts and kept Mitrione on his back. Mitrione stood up as time expired.
Ryan Bader kicked off the final round with a blast double leg that brought down Mitrione before he knew what hit him. Any attempts to stand up by Mitrione were stifled by Bader for the final five minutes.
Ryan Bader def. Matt Mitrione by Unanimous Decision (30-25 x2, 30-24)