Ryan Bader To Defend Title Vs. Interim Champion Valentin Moldavsky In January

Ryan Bader is making his first title defense after two years.

According to promotional officials, Bader will meet interim champion Valentin Moldavsky in a championship unification fight at Bellator 273. The event will be held on January 29 at the Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona, broadcast on Showtime.

Bader recently defended his championship over Cheick Kongo at Bellator 226 in September 2019, which finished in a no-contest due to an eye poke.

Bader had lost his 205-pound championship to Vadim Nemkov until joining the promotion’s light heavyweight Grand Prix, where he beat Lyoto Machida in April before succumbing to a KO loss to Corey Anderson at Bellator 268 in October.

Moldavsky, a Fedor Emelianenko protégé, defeated Timothy Johnson via unanimous decision to become Bellator’s first-ever temporary heavyweight king at Bellator 261.

The 29-year-old is coming off six straight triumphs.

Darrion Caldwell will also welcome Enrique Barzola to the company for his debut bout after a 10-fight stint in the UFC.

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