Bader (29-7 MMA, 7-2 BMMA), Bellator’s past 205-pound champion and current heavyweight champ, wants to stay at heavyweight for the rest of his fighting career.
Bader defends his title in a rematch against Cheick Kongo (31-11-2 MMA, 13-3 BMMA) in Friday’s Bellator 280 main event in Paris.
“I just signed a new four-fight deal with Bellator, and I’m looking to stay at heavyweight,” Bader said during a Bellator 280 news interview Wednesday. “Obviously this is a career, so financials is a motivation, but competing and still trying to be the best and pushing myself is also there. I’m not out there, ‘OK, I’m just gonna be a mediocre guy and take these fights and make money and what not.’ If I’m gonna do it, I’m still gonna try and be the best at it, and so that’s where my mind frame is right now.”
Kongo, wants to become the oldest first-time champion in Bellator. At 38, Bader is still fighting at very high level coming off a five-round title win over Valentin Moldavsky, but he isn’t particulary looking to drag out his career as much as Kongo’s.
“I don’t think I’m gonna be at 46 years old fighting,” Bader said. “I have other stuff I want to do, but when we talked about this contract, I don’t see myself going down to light heavyweight anymore. That was one thing. I don’t know if I want to put myself through that, that weight cut, and I just didn’t feel great. So for me right now, it’s all right, we’re gonna finish out this deal here and kind of see where we go from there.”