Bellator 273’s Valentin Moldavsky: Loss to Corey Anderson Doesn’t Mean Ryan Bader A Bad Fighter

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Phoenix, AZ — Bellator interim heavyweight champion Valentin Moldavsky will look to claim the undisputed heavyweight crown against Ryan Bader at Bellator 273 this Saturday.

That’s an opponent Moldavsky is rather familiar with. His teammate, Vadim Nemkov, defeated Bader to claim Bellator’s 205lb title. During the promotion’s light heavyweight grand prix, Moldavsky travelled to Phoenix with Nemkov to take in Bader’s fight with Corey Anderson.

“I come here with Vadim in October, and I watched [the fight with] Ryan Bader with him. Corey Anderson [got] a very fast victory, that’s all, but it does not mean Bader is a bad fighter or good fighter,” Moldavsky told media outlets including Cageside Press at Wednesday’s Bellator 273 media day. “It’s MMA, anything can happen in this sport. That’s why I don’t know how our fight will start. But I hope I win at first round, first second. TKO, KO, very fast. I hope I win very fast.”

Moldavksy was clearly joking about that first second comment, his sense of humor shining through while forgoing a translator entirely. The Team Fedor fighter appeared relaxed ahead of the biggest fight of his career to date, and was surprised to hear Bader has announced plans to stay at heavyweight moving forward.

“Okay, interesting,” Moldavsky responded. Asked whether Bader seemed bigger ahead of Bellator 273, Moldavsky confirmed it. “Yes, now he’s bigger from the last fight. I see him [before], he’s small, now he’s like a heavyweight. But he’s a small heavyweight, like me. I’m a small heavyweight too. That’s good maybe, for him, and for the heavyweight division. We have good fighters.”

As far as fighting in Bader’s backyard in Phoenix, “he fought last time here, his fans don’t help him. That’s why I think it’s normal,” said Moldavsky. He added that, were he to fight at home, he might feel a bit of extra pressure.

While both men are wrestlers — Bader in freestyle, Moldavsky in greco-roman, their stand-up game is another matter. “In striking, I think I’m better,” suggested Moldavsky. “A little bit.”

Watch the full Bellator 273 media day appearance by Valentin Moldavsky above. The event takes place this Saturday, January 29, 2022 at the Footprint Center in Phoenix, AZ.

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