Ryan Bader Has Road Map: Ferreira, Ngannou, Go Down As “One of the Best Heavyweights Ever”

Ryan Bader has some lofty goals ahead of his main event, champ versus champ fight against Renan Ferreira at the PFL Champs vs. Bellator Champs card this weekend.

For Bader, there are bragging rights on the line, of course, he explained during the event’s media day on Thursday. There’s more than just that, however.

“There’s definitely some pride and bragging rights and all that, I want to represent Bellator to the best of my ability. But kind of tunnel vision, I don’t really think about all the outside stuff. I’m just going to go in there and do what I’ve been training to do, and go in there and get my hand raised,” said Bader. “Everything else is great, I want to represent the company to the best of my abilities and all that. And there is some pride there.”

Despite that tunnel vision, Bader knows just what is on the line. A win over Ferreira, and a fight with Francis Ngannou looms. PFL officials confirmed that on Thursday.

“There’s a big name out there with Ngannou, he’s boxing. And then I’d like to win this fight and get that fight after this, and go down as one of the best heavyweights ever,” stated Bader.

There are other fights that would be of interest to fans as well, no doubt. But Ngannou is the biggest name on the market, and it’s clear that’s where Bader has his focus. Asked about a fight with old rival Vadim Nemkov, who vacated his 205lb title to focus on a move to heavyweight, Bader admitted that “yeah, it could be a fight in the future.”

Still, “Darth” Bader simply doesn’t sound all that interested. At least not in comparison to the mammoth match-up with Francis Ngannou. “I kind of have my road map right now, go out there and get this win and get the big Ngannou fight. There’s actually a lot of fights. You’ve got Nemkov, you’ve got Linton Vassell, who I was supposed to fight in October and he ended up pulling out. There’s a list of names.”

None, however, carry the allure of Francis Ngannou.

Watch the full PFL Champs vs. Bellator Champs media day appearance by Ryan Bader above.