Ryan Bader is happy to not cut weight for the first time in his athletic career to compete in the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix but that doesn’t mean he’s suddenly going to look like a different fighter.
In fact, Bader says the differences in his size right now and what he weighed while competing at 205 pounds aren’t all that different. While Bader may give up some size to opponents like Matt Mitrione during the tournament, the reigning Bellator light heavyweight champion believes the advantages he maintains as a smaller, faster fighter will do more for him than trying to pack on a bunch of unnecessary muscle.
“I’m not actively out there trying to get bigger or anything. I’m somewhere around 230 or 233 [pounds] right now,” Bader said ahead of Bellator 199 on Saturday night. “Coming into this fight, Mo will be one of the smaller guys I could fight. Then the next round will be a big, true heavyweight with [Matt] Mitrione. I feel like I’m strong enough, big enough for heavyweight already as is and I want to keep what makes me good, which is my quickness, my cardio, all the things that come with that.
“It’s not like I’m trying to bulk up to 240 or anything. I’m trying to stay around my natural weight, which is 230. Keeping what has made me good at light heavyweight.”
Bader says he would typically be around 220 pounds during his fight camp before starting his initial weight cut to get down to the light heavyweight limit.
“I’m not actively out there trying to get bigger or anything. I’m somewhere around 230 or 233 [pounds] right now,” ~ Ryan Bader
Considering Bader has been wrestling or fighting for most of his life, he’s actually never gone into a competition without cutting weight so he’s excited to see how his body reacts in his fight against “King” Mo Lawal.
Then again, Bader says it might feel so strange not to cut any weight that he might have to go sit in a sauna before stepping onto the scales just so he feels normal ahead of the fight.
“It’s got to take something out of you. I mean that’s 10 or 15 pounds of water taken out of your body so it’s definitely going to do something to you,” Bader said about his weight cut. “You’re putting that water back on and taking in more food, so just being normal I think it’s really going to help in the fight.
“I’ve never competed without cutting weight so I might have to go sit in the sauna and cut like two pounds off just to keep that routine.”
Who wins in the last opening round matchup of Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix — Ryan Bader or “King” Mo Lawal? Sound off in the comments and let us know.