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Ryan Bader would love rematch with Jon Jones: ‘I’ve grown and changed so much since then’

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“I’ve grown and changed so much since then. Physically, mentally. We’d love to be able to do some sort of cross-promotion deal.”

A lot has changed since Jon Jones fought Ryan Bader in 2011.

Jones submitted Bader at UFC 126 and then went on to capture the official UFC light heavyweight title — a title which ‘Bones’ still has in his possession to this day, almost ten years on.

Bader, on the other hand, parted ways with the UFC to sign with Bellator MMA in 2017, where the 36-year-old currently reigns as light heavyweight and heavyweight champion, having won five straight fights (and one NC) since first signing with the fight promotion.

With both men now champions in their respective promotions, ‘Darth’ Bader believes now (COVID-19 outbreak aside) would be the perfect time for a rematch.

“Yeah. I don’t think you can argue that he’s not [the greatest fighter of all time],” Bader told TMZ. “… He’s undefeated. He’s beat everybody. 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 sort of cross-promotion deal.”

Bader will return to the cage to defend his Bellator light heavyweight title at Bellator 243 on May 9, while Jones is currently taking some time off to recover from his recent title defense against Dominick Reyes at UFC 247, which saw Jones beat Reyes via split decision in the main event.