UFC's Jon Jones Challenged to Fight by Bellator's Ryan Bader to Avenge 2011 Loss

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistMarch 15, 2020

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 19:  Ryan Bader of the United States celebrates victory over Antonio Rogerio Nogueira of Brazil after their light heavyweight bout at UFC Fight Night Bader v Minotouro at Ibirapuera Gymnasium on November 19, 2016 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  (Photo by Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Buda Mendes/Getty Images

Ryan Bader has said he wants to step into the Octagon with Jon Jones, nine years on from their first fight.

Bader suffered the first loss of his career to Jones in 2011 at UFC 126, with the latter locking in a fight-ending guillotine choke.

Speaking to TMZ, Bader said he would be open to another fight with Jones, as he believes he could give the current UFC light heavyweight champion some problems:

"That's one fight I'd love to get back. It was 2011 when that happened. I've grown and changed so much since then. Physically, mentally. We'd love to be able to do some cross-promotion deal.

"...If we can make some sort of cross-promotion [between Bellator and UFC], exhibition, whatever the hell it is. Just unify [the LHW title]."

In the same clip, Bader says that he considers Jones to be the greatest MMA fighter in history. He added, "I don't see myself leaving [Bellator]," and the same applies to Jones with the UFC, meaning some kind of cross-promotion would be needed to get the fight set up.

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During Bader's time in Bellator, he has yet to lose a contest, winning both the light heavyweight and heavyweight belts.

His previous fight, against Cheick Kongo, ended in a no contest because of an accidental eye poke, meaning Bader retained his heavyweight title.

Jones is considered one of the all-time greats of the sport, with his only defeat in 28 fights coming as the result of a disqualification.

Since making his return to action in December 2018, Jones has won all of his four fights, though he's been pushed hard in the previous two. 

He needed a split decision to beat Thiago Santos at UFC 239, while he controversially won a unanimous-decision verdict against Dominick Reyes in February at UFC 247.

 

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